Indexed on: 09 May '06Published on: 09 May '06Published in: Urologia internationalis
Epididymitis is an inflammation or infection of the epididymis, a convoluted duct that lies on the posterior surface of the testicle. Oxidative stress due to excessive production of reactive oxygen species in epididymitis, impaired antioxidant defense mechanisms, or both, precipitates a range of pathologies that are currently believed to negatively affect the male reproductive function. How oxidative stress affects the testes is still unknown. We aimed to investigate the oxidative and antioxidative status of testes of rats with unilateral acute Escherichia coli epididymitis.The study included 36 male Wistar albino rats which were divided into three groups. In the epididymitis group (n = 12), an E. coli suspension was injected into the right ductus deferens of rats, and the same amount of saline was injected in the saline groups (n = 12). No surgery was performed in the control group (n = 12) for baseline values. Rats were sacrificed after 24 h and the epididymis and testes removed. The infection was confirmed by histopathologic evaluation and microbiological tests. The oxidative status of testes was evaluated by measuring myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and antioxidative status was evaluated by measuring total antioxidant response (TAR) and total antioxidant capacity levels (TAC).MPO activity in both the ipsilateral and contralateral testes of the epididymitis group was significantly higher than those of the saline and control groups (p < 0.05). The TAR and TAC levels in both testes were also significantly elevated in the epididymitis group versus the two other groups (p < 0.05).Acute epididymitis causes an increase of oxidative stress in the ipsilateral and contralateral testes, but this condition is strived for to tolerate the increase of endogenous antioxidants.