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Mirakhori F.,University of Tehran | Tafreshi A.P.,Iran National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology | Shirmohamadian A.,University of Tehran | Eslaminejad M.R.B.,Royan Institute Reproductive for Biomedicine | And 3 more authors.
Yakhteh | Year: 2010

Objective: It has been shown that lithium chloride (LiCl), an effective drug for the treatment of bipolar disorder, has side effects on the female reproductive system. In this study, cellular and histological effects of lithium chloride on the development of ovarian follicles in immature female rats were investigated. Materials and Methods: To induce ovarian follicular development, twenty-three day old immature female rats were injected with 10 IU of pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG), followed by four doses of LiCl (250 mg/kg/dose) each injected every 12 hours, starting from the time of the PMSG injection. The rat ovaries were removed 48 hours after the PMSG injection and prepared for histological, immunohistochemical, and DNA laddering studies. Control immature female rats received only PMSG, while sham treated rats received PMSG and physiological serum (lithium vehicle). Results: Our results showed that in the ovaries of LiCl-treated rats there were neither large antral follicles (800-1000 μm) nor fewer medium sized follicles (400-800 μm) but a increased number of atretic follicles compared to those in the control rats. The induction of atresia in the ovaries of LiCl-treated rats was further confirmed by the presence of DNA fragmentation. Looking at the cellular levels, lithium extremely significant (p<0.0001) increased the number of TUNEL-positive cells in the granulosa layer of the antral follicles. Conclusion: Taken together, our results suggest that lithium may decrease folliculogenesis by inducing apoptosis in the antral follicles.

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