Does ethane 1,2-dimethanesulphonate (EDS) have a direct cytotoxic effect on the seminiferous epithelium of the rat testis?

R. L. Sprando, R. Santulli, C. A. Awoniyi, L. L. Ewing, Barry R Zirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors examined the possibility that ethane 1,2-dimethanesulphonate (EDS) has a cytotoxic effect on spermatogenesis that is not secondary to androgen withdrawal resulting from the well known cytotoxic effect on Leydig cells. Adult male rats were implanted with polydimethylsiloxane (PDS) capsules containing testosterone (T) and estradiol (E), and were simultaneously injected with EDS. The PDS-TE implants, by inhibiting luteinizing hormone (LH) production, prevented Leydig cells from repopulating the testis and clamped testosterone within the seminiferous tubules at increasing concentrations relative to implant size. In rats that received EDS alone, the number of advanced spermatids per testis was significantly reduced by 2 weeks, but within 8 weeks returned to the numbers maintained in vehicle-injected control rats or in vehicle-injected rats that received tesosterone- and estradiol-filled capsules of 24 cm and 0.1 cm, respectively (PDS-24TE). Surprisingly, in rats that received an EDS injection plus PDS-24TE implants, the number of advanced spermatids per testis was significantly reduced at 8 weeks and severe seminiferous tubule atrophy occurred despite the fact that the testosterone concentration was sufficient to quantitatively maintain spermatogenesis in vehicle-injected rats. In rats injected with EDS and implanted with 24 cm testosterone but not estradiol-filled capsules (PDS-24T), the advanced spermatid number per testis was significantly higher than that in the EDS plus PDS-24TE rats, but significantly lower than that in control rats. These results suggest that EDS may have a cytotoxic effect on the seminifeous epithelium that is independent of the elimination of Leydig cells, and that EDS and estradiol act synergistically to exert a profound toxic effect on spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-352
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Andrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990



  • cytotoxic
  • rat
  • spermatogenesis
  • testes
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this