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Busulfan induces apoptotic and cytotoxic effects on testis and epididymal sperm of adult male mouse following low dose treatment – IJB

Akbar Vahdati, Ali Reza Fathi, Parva Nasimi, Ghasem Saki

Department of Biology, Fars Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Fars, Iran

Department of Biology, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Jondishapour University of Medical Sciences, Ahwaz, Iran

Key words: Apoptosis, Busulfan, Epididymal Sperm, Seminiferous tubule, Sperm viability.


At adequate concentrations busulfan selectively attacks the dividing spermatogonia and spermatocytes. But, there is not enough information about side effects of low dose busulfan. The aim of this study was to assess changes that occur on seminiferous tubules morphology and epididymal sperm of adult male mouse following treatment with low dose busulfan. So, adult male NMRI mice (25-35 g) were assigned in three groups including; Group 1: Control, Group 2; treated with busulfan for 21 days (0.06 mg/kg/day) and Group 3: treated with busulfan for 21 days (0.8 mg/kg/day). The effects of busulfan on seminiferous tubules morphology and epididymal sperm were evaluated by light microscopy, Computer–Aided Sperm Analysis (CASA), MTT assay and flowcytometry. The results showed that busulfan caused significant germinal epithelium destruction in treated mice versus control. Also, busulfan had significant cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in epididymal sperm of treated mice. The percentages of early apoptotic, late apoptotic and necrotic sperms in groups 2 and 3 demonstrated significant increase versus control. Also, analysis of sperm parameters and sperm viability using CASA and MTT assay demonstrated significant differences between control and busulfan treated mice. In conclusion, chemotherapy with low dose busulfan causes significant changes on sperm viability, sperm parameters and morphology of seminiferous tubules. All side effects of busulfan are dose dependent and they are considerable in mice treated with 0.8 mg/kg busulfan. Hence, the treatment with low dose busulfan may reduce toxicity of chemotherapy.

Get the original articles in Source: Volume 6, Number 5, March 2015 – IJB

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