Can antioxidants protect against chemotherapy in a rat spermatogonial stem cell line?

Caroline M. Allen (Lead / Corresponding author), Federica Lopes, Rod T. Mitchell, Norah Spears (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Boys administered chemotherapy to treat cancer are at risk of damage to their healthy testicular tissue, which can lead to infertility in adulthood. Researchers are therefore investigating treatments to protect the testis during cancer treatment. Here, cells originating from rat testicles were cultured for 4 days and exposed to chemotherapy drugs with or without antioxidants for the final 2 days. Antioxidants can reduce cellular damage by inactivating toxic compounds. Here, antioxidants such as melatonin or n-acetylcysteine were tested against chemotherapy agents cisplatin, doxorubicin, or vincristine. Cultures were repeated four times, with cell survival measured at the end of culture. The antioxidants were not damaging and partially protected against cisplatin, although not doxorubicin. Surprisingly, n-acetylcysteine enhanced vincristine-induced damage. The results suggest that using antioxidants to protect the testis could have either beneficial or harmful effects when given alongside different chemotherapy drugs: this is important, considering that patients are often treated with multiple drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L7-L9
Number of pages3
JournalReproduction and Fertility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2021


  • antioxidants
  • chemotherapy
  • fertility preservation
  • spermatogonial stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology


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