This study evaluates the effect on spermatogenesis of coadministration of Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) and nafarelin, a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist. Nafarelin causes complete aspermatogenesis in dogs by interrupting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, which might protect against the testicular cytotoxicity associated with cyclophosphamide. The four treatment groups, each consisting of 2 mature male beagle dogs, were (a) no drug; (b) cyclophosphamide (p.o. 3x weekly for 43 and 48 wk for a total dose of 582 and 709 mg/kg, with dose varying according to weekly hematological profile); (c) nafarelin (2 µg/kg s.c. daily for 48 and 52 wk); and (d) cyclophosphamide plus nafarelin [same schedule as above with cyclophosphamide (570 and 698 mg/kg total dose) starting 7 wk after beginning nafarelin]. Plasma testosterone, spermatogenesis, and ejaculate volume were completely suppressed by nafarelin prior to starting cyclophosphamide. By 2 wk after cessation of treatment (posttreatment, PT), plasma testosterone reached normal levels, and at 5 wk PT ejaculates appeared which reached normal volumes 2 to 3 wk later. Normally motile ejaculated spermatozoa were noted at 6 to 8 wk PT in nafarelin-only-treated animals; normal sperm numbers were reached at 14 wk PT. The animals receiving cyclophosphamide plus nafarelin were azoospermic for the entire 65-wk PT period, and at 65 wk PT no germinal cells were found upon evaluation of testicular histology. Sperm numbers in cyclophosphamide-only-treated animals began to rise 10–11 wk PT and reached 150 × 106 sperm/ejaculate at approximately 65 wk PT (contemporaneous control dogs had sperm numbers of approximately 300–600 × 106/ejaculate). Spermatogenesis in these cyclophosphamide-only-treated animals was normal in most seminiferous tubules at this time. The addition of nafarelin to cyclophosphamide treatment thus exacerbated the deleterious effects of cyclophosphamide on the testes, suggesting caution for use of such a protocol clinically.

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