Stress disrupts the neurotransmitter release and reproduction. Dopamine (D) is one of the most important neurotransmitters, and its receptor (D2R) has been identified in testis. The use of effective drugs on reproductive system may affect the physiology of offspring whose parents are under treatment. This study aimed to investigate the effect of D2R inhibition on testicular tissue and the process of spermatogenesis in stressed rats and their offspring.
In total, 72 adult male Wistar rats weighing 190±10 g were divided into groups of saline, sulpiride (D2R antagonist) (4mg/kg, ip), physical or psychological stress, and physical or psychological stress receiving sulpiride. Physical or psychological stress was induced by a communication box. At the end of the 14-day treatment, each male rat mated with three female rats. The male offspring were raised under normal conditions until puberty. Subsequently, the indices of spermatogenesis (number of spermatogonia cells, spermatocytes, spermatids, sertoli cells), seminiferous tubules diameter, thickness of testicular capsule, and serum testosterone concentration were evaluated in male rats under treatment and their offspring. Data were analyzed in SPSS software through a one-way ANOVA and Duncan test.
Stress induction and/or sulpiride administration led to a significant decrease in the number of spermatogenic cells (spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, and sertoli), morphometric indices (seminiferous tubules diameter and thickness of testicular capsule), and testosterone concentration in parents and offspring, compared to the corresponding control groups (P<0.05).
Stress caused a decrease in spermatogenesis in parents and offspring. Moreover, the sulpiride administration intensified the adverse effects of stress on spermatogenesis in both generations.
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