J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  1998 May;2(1):64-72.

Effect of Alcohol on Testicular Histology

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kosin University, School of Medicine, Pusan, South Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The aims of this study were to evaluate whether alcohol affects the testicular histology, to find out what kind of drugs can influence that changes, and to discuss the association between alcohol-induced testicular atrophy with aging process, understanding a mechanism underlying alcohol-induced sexual dysfunction.
In experiment 1, 14% ethanol (V/V) was administered to five rats for 4 weeks, comparing the testicular histology stained with hematoxylin-eosin with those in five normal adult controls and those in five normal aged rats. In experiment 2, thirty ethanol-administered rats were treated with nimodipine, clonidine, bethacholine, bromocriptine, fluoxetine and ketamine (five rats respectively) for 4 weeks. The testicular histology of Leydig cells, seminiferous tubules, Sertoli cells and germ cells in the above drug-treated rats were compared by the same procedure.
1) Mean Leydig cell numbers more significantly reduced in ethanol-administered rats than those in normal adult controls (p<0.01). 2) Reduced Leydig cell numbers in the ethanol-administered rats became significantly raised by treatment with nimodipine (p<0.05) or clonidine (p<0.01). 3) There was no significant association between alcohol-induced testicular atrophy with an aging process.
These findings suggest a hormonal factor and a pathophysiological process related with calcium or norepinephrine can be involved in a mechanism underlying alcohol-induced sexual dysfunction.


Ethanol; Sexual dysfunction; Leydig cell; Calcium channel; Norepinephrine; Aging
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