The effect of teniposide (VM-26) 0.05 mg/kg body weight treatment on spermatogenesis of mice exposed to 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 Gy gamma-radiation was evaluated flow cytometrically. Whole body irradiation with 1 to 3 Gy resulted in a significant decline in testis weight from Day 14 to 35 post-irradiation depending on the exposure dose. Treatment of mice with teniposide before irradiation advanced the decline in testicular weight by several days, especially at 3 Gy, where a significant decline in testicular weight was observed at Day 7 post-irradiation when compared with the double distilled water (DDW)+irradiation group. The relative percentage of the 2C population declined significantly in the VM-26+irradiation group in comparison with the DDW+irradiation group at various post-irradiation time periods depending on the exposure dose. A significant depletion in the relative percentage of S- phase cells was observed as early as Day 1 post-irradiation in the VM- 26+irradiation group when compared with the DDW+irradiation group after exposure to 1 to 3 Gy. This decline continued up to Day 21 post-irradiation after exposure to 2 Gy. The relative percentage of primary spermatocytes showed a consistent decline after exposure to various doses of gamma- radiation in the VM-26+irradiation group when compared with the DDW+irradiation group at different time periods, with a few exceptions, especially at higher doses. The pattern of decline in the relative percentage of round spermatids was similar to that of primary spermatocytes, where a significant decline was observed at various post-irradiation time periods in the VM-26+irradiation group in comparison with the DDW+irradiation group. These changes in the relative germ cell percentages are manifested as alterations in the ratios of various germ cell populations. The 4C:2C ratio declined consistently from Day 1 to Day 70 post-irradiation in the VM- 26+irradiation group at all exposure doses. Similarly, the 4C:S-phase ratio in the VM-26+irradiation group also showed a significant decline at different post-irradiation time periods when compared with the DDW+irradiation group depending on the exposure dose. The reduction observed in the relative percentages of various cell populations was higher in the combination group when compared with the DDW+irradiation controls, indicating potentiation of damage to male germ cells by teniposide treatment before irradiation.
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