Morphine Dependency Effect on Mouse Epididymis Epithelium by Means of Lectin Histochemistry


avatar AR Mahmoudian 1 , * , avatar F Zamansoltani 1 , avatar SH Alavi 1 , avatar AR Fazel 1


how to cite: Mahmoudian A, Zamansoltani F, Alavi S, Fazel A. Morphine Dependency Effect on Mouse Epididymis Epithelium by Means of Lectin Histochemistry. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci. 2006;10(2):e81716.


Introduction: Studies have shown that opiates cause disorders in fertilization and accessory reproductive glands in animals. On the other hand studies have shown important role of glycoconjugates in sperm epididymal maturation. Lectins can detect glycoconjugates with specific terminal glucose molecules. Therefore this study was conducted to assess the possible effects of opiates on these important glycoconjugates in sperm maturation.  Lectins were used in this study since they can bind with glucose terminal in specific manner.
Materials & Methods: 102 BALB/c adult male mice were assigned to three groups with 34 mice. The experimental group was injected with sulphate morphine, control group by normal saline and the third group was considered as intact group. Chronic drug dependency was induced by three daily subcutaneous injections for 7 days (dose on days from 1 to 7were: 10, 20, 40, 40, 80, 80 and 100 mg/kg respectively). After chronic drug dependency induction, epididymides were dissected. Paraffin blocks were obtained after fixation using routine laboratory methods. 5 µm sections from the blocks were exposed to different lectins by means of lectin histochemistry.  Reaction intensity in different cells was investigated by light microscopy and were ranked according to the previous approved studies (0 = no reaction, 1= mild, 2 =moderate and 3 = strong reactions). Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results: There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in the reaction to wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), specifically for sialic acid between experimental and control groups. No significant difference was found in using other lectins such as Galactose, Fucose and Galactose- N Acetyl Galactoseamin.
Conclusion: Decreasing reaction to WGA indicates reduction of sialic acid content in morphine treated samples. With regard to sialic acid important role in sperm protection and epididymal maturation, adverse changes in sperms epididymal maturation will be predicted due to sialic acid deficiency in epididymal cells. Morphine effect on hypothalamic-hypophyseal portal system and secretion of gonadotropin releasing hormones, direct effect on pituitary and secretion of gonadotropins and effect on local regulatory factors may be more likely mechanisms for these changes.


The full text of this article is available on PDF

© 2006, Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.