Administration of Flutamide Alters Sperm Ultrastructure, Sperm Plasma Membrane Integrity and its Stability, and Sperm Mitochondrial Oxidative Capability in the Boar: In Vivo and In Vitro Approach

Authors


  • Part of this work was presented at the 4th Meeting of the International Network of Young Researchers in Male Fertility (INYR) in Edinburgh, UK, 2011.

  • Krakow, Jagiellonian University and Szczecin, Pomeranian Medical University, Poland – the places where the work was carried out.

Author’s address (for correspondence): Dr B Bilińska, Institute of Zoology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 9, 30-387 Krakow, Poland. E-mail: barbara.bilinska@uj.edu.pl

Contents

Our previous work has shown that an anti-androgen flutamide administered pre- and post-natally induced adverse effects on the epididymal morphology and function of adult boars. The present investigation is aimed to understand the effect of flutamide and its metabolite on changes in sperm plasma membrane integrity and its stability, changes in mitochondrial oxidative capability and frequency of abnormal sperm. In vivo effects of flutamide (50 mg/kg b.w.) on sperm ultrastructure were examined by electron microscopic observations. In vitro effects of 5, 50 and 100 μg/ml hydroxyflutamide, administered for 2 and 24 h, on sperm plasma membrane integrity were measured by LIVE/DEAD Sperm Vitality kit, while those on sperm membrane stability and mitochondrial oxidoreductive activity were investigated using Merocyanine 540 and NADH tests, respectively. The incidence of abnormal spermatozoa increased significantly (p < 0.05) in flutamide-treated boars compared with controls. In an in vitro approach, low dose of hydroxyflutamide in 2-h incubations appeared less effective in altering the sperm plasma membrane integrity and its stability than two higher doses used (p < 0.05). No further decrease in the membrane integrity was found when the effect of anti-androgen lasted for 24 h. On the other hand, a decrease in sperm membrane destabilization and mitochondrial oxidoreductive activity was strengthened after 24 h of hydroxyflutamide administration (p < 0.05). Characterization of sperm parameters with regard to oxidative capability of mitochondria, plasma membrane changes and sperm ultrastructure provides novel data on the boar sperm sensitivity to anti-androgen action. Results indicate high sensitivity of boar spermatozoa to androgen withdrawal.

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