NF-kB overexpression and decreased immunoexpression of AR in the muscular layer is related to structural damages and apoptosis in cimetidine-treated rat vas deferens


Background: Cimetidine, histamine H2 receptors antagonist, has caused adverse effects on the male hormones and reproductive tract due to its antiandrogenic effect. In the testes, peritubular myoid cells and muscle vascular cells death has been associated to seminiferous tubules and testicular microvascularization damages, respectively. Either androgen or histamine H2 receptors have been detected in the mucosa and smooth muscular layer of vas deferens. Thus, the effect of cimetidine on this androgen and histamine-dependent muscular duct was morphologically evaluated.Methods: The animals from cimetidine group (CMTG; n=5) received intraperitoneal injections of 100 mg/kg b.w. of cimetidine for 50 days; the control group (CG) received saline solution. The distal portions of vas deferens were fixed in formaldehyde and embedded in paraffin. Massońs trichrome-stained sections were subjected to morphological and the following morphometrical analyzes: epithelial perimeter and area of the smooth muscular layer. TUNEL (Terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase mediated dUTP Nick End Labeling) method, NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa B) and AR (androgen receptors) immunohistochemical detection were also carried out. The birefringent collagen of the muscular layer was quantified in picrosirius red-stained sections under polarized light. The muscular layer was also evaluated under Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM).Results: In CMTG, the mucosa of vas deferens was intensely folded; the epithelial cells showed numerous pyknotic nuclei and the epithelial perimeter and the area of the muscular layer decreased significantly. Numerous TUNEL-labeled nuclei were found either in the epithelial cells, mainly basal cells, or in the smooth muscle cells which also showed typical features of apoptosis under TEM. While an enhanced NF-kB immunoexpression was found in the cytoplasm of muscle cells, a weak AR immunolabeling was detected in these cells. In CMTG, no significant difference was observed in the birefringent collagen content of the muscular layer in comparison to CG.Conclusions: Cimetidine induces significant damages in the epithelium; a possible antiandrogenic effect on the basal cells turnover should be considered. The cimetidine-induced muscle cells apoptosis confirms the susceptibility of these cells to this drug. The parallelism between enhanced cytoplasmic NF-kB immunolabeling in the damaged muscular tissue and muscle cell apoptosis suggests that this drug may avoid the translocation of NF-kB to the nucleus and interfere in the control of NF-kB-mediated smooth muscle cell apoptosis. The decreased immunoexpression of ARs verified in the damaged muscular tissue reinforces this possibility. © 2013 Koshimizu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.



Androgen receptors, Apoptosis, H2 receptors, Morphometry, NF-kappaB, Vas deferens, androgen receptor, cimetidine, formaldehyde, hycimet, immunoglobulin enhancer binding protein, paraffin, sodium chloride, unclassified drug, animal cell, antibody labeling, apoptosis, basal cell, cell death, controlled study, epithelium cell, gene overexpression, immunohistochemistry, male, muscle cell, nick end labeling, nonhuman, rat, smooth muscle fiber, transmission electron microscopy, treatment duration, vas deferens, Animals, Cimetidine, Collagen, Cytoplasm, Epithelium, Histamine H2 Antagonists, Immunohistochemistry, In Situ Nick-End Labeling, Male, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Muscle, Smooth, NF-kappa B, Rats, Receptors, Androgen, Vas Deferens, Animalia, Myoida, Rattus

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, v. 11, n. 1, 2013.