Early testicular response to intraperitoneal administration of ethane dimethanesulphonate (EDS) in the goat (Capra hircus).
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Early morphological changes in the goat testis after a single intraperitoneal injection of ethane dimethanesulphonate (EDS) were investigated using both light and electron microscopy. The compound was administered at two dose levels: 75 mg/kg and 25 mg/kg. While the former resulted in some deaths due to toxicity, the latter had no noticeable toxic effects on the animals. The testicular effects at both dose levels were similar. Six (6) days post-treatment, Leydig cells were refractory to EDS challenge but there was a marked disruption of spermatogenesis. These Leydig cells exhibited ovoid or irregularly round nuclei, abundant cytoplasm containing spherical, ovoid or elongate mitochondria and a preponderance of smooth endoplasmic reticulum typical of the normal cells. Lipid droplets were rare. In the seminiferous tubules germ and Sertoli cell degeneration was observed. Changes in the germ cells included: spermatogonial degeneration, condensed chromatin in leptotene spermatocytes and failure of chromatin re-organization resulting in the formation of clumps in the cells at the telophase stage of cell division (stage 4 of the seminiferous cycle). The nuclear envelope of primary spermatocytes showed marked irregularity and there was an overall reduction in cell size. There was peripheral re-distribution of chromatin in developing spermatids of stages 1, 2 and 5, often resulting in thick margination along the nucleolemma and leaving a pale nucleoplasm. An accompanying retention of maturation phase spermatids in stage 2 tubules was also observed. Sertoli cells exhibited extensive accumulation of intracytoplasmic vesicles, obscuring the rest of the organelles. Intercellular vacuoles also occurred within the epithelium. The results suggest that while EDS does not have any effect on goat Leydig cells, it causes severe disruption of the spermatogenic process. Furthermore, it is concluded from the results that the optimum dose in this species is 25 mg/kg.