hCG treatment raises H2O2 levels and induces germ cell apoptosis in rat testis. Academic Article uri icon


  • The clinical significance of exogenous hCG treatment is to stimulate steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis in the testis. However, the pathogenesis of detrimental effects on the testis arising out of chronic hCG treatment is yet to be clearly ascertained. In the present study we have shown that hCG treatment (100 IU/day) to rats for 30 days raises testicular oxidative stress leading to germ cell apoptosis and impairment of spermatogenesis. The treatment raises testicular H(2)O(2) levels along with increase in lipid peroxidation and concomitant decrease in the enzymatic antioxidant activities like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione-s-transferase. The rise in the number of apoptotic germ cells was associated with up regulation of Fas protein expression and caspase-3 activity in the testis. However, serum testosterone which was elevated by 15 days of hCG treatment declined to pretreatment levels by 30 days. No significant alteration in serum gonadotropins was observed. The above findings indicate that the pathogenesis of deleterious effects following chronic hCG treatment is due to increase in testicular oxidative stress with high H(2)O(2) availability leading to apoptosis among germ cells.

published proceedings

  • Apoptosis

author list (cited authors)

  • Gautam, D. K., Misro, M. M., Chaki, S. P., Chandra, M., & Sehgal, N.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Gautam, Dinesh K||Misro, MM||Chaki, SP||Chandra, Mahesh||Sehgal, N

publication date

  • July 2007