Objective To investigate the protective effects of scrotal cooling on cisplatin-induced gonadal toxicity in an animal model. Methods Twenty-one male BALB/c mice were divided into 3 groups. The cisplatin group received 2 cycles of cisplatin (2.5 mg/kg/day for 5 days with 16 days of recovery) intraperitoneally, and the cisplatin + cooling group received the same regimen of cisplatin with a cooling protocol: cooling induction for 30 minutes before injection and cooling for 60 minutes after injection. Mice in control group were given an injection of 2 mL normal saline intraperitoneally. After 35 days of recovery (1 cycle of spermatogenesis), the volume of the testes (Cavalieri method), volume density of the tubules and epithelium (point-counting method), and number of cells (optical dissector method) were estimated. Results The volume of the testes, tubules, and epithelium was reduced between 61% and 66%, and the number of the spermatogonia, spermatocytes, round spermatids, and long spermatids was reduced between 70% and 93% in cisplatin group compared with that of control mice. Cisplatin affected spermatids to a greater extent, and Sertoli cells to a lesser extent than the other cells. The volume and number of the cells were reduced in the cisplatin + cooling group but to a lesser extent compared with those of mice in the cisplatin group. Sertoli cells were more intact in the cisplatin + cooling group compared with those of the control group. Conclusion Scrotal cooling during cisplatin administration seems to have beneficial effects on spermatogenesis. Scrotal cooling may hold promise as a way to protect fertility.
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