Stage-specific effects of the fungicide carbendazim on Sertoli cell microtubules in rat testis

M. Nakai, M. G. Miller, K. Carnes, R. A. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study is to provide a morphological explanation of carbendazim (CBZ)-induced sloughing of germ cells that occurs in a stage-specific manner. Therefore, very early alterations in the seminiferous tubule epithelium were examined histologically in the rat testis after oral administration of CBZ (400 mg/kg). Gaps between the elongated and round spermatids, the first indication of germ cell sloughing (pre-sloughing), were observed in stage late VI-early VII seminiferous tubules at 90-min post-treatment. Tubulin immunoreaction in the Sertoli cells was reduced in intensity in tubules with pre-sloughing. However, electron microscopy demonstrated that there were some intact microtubules in these cells. At 120 min, sloughing was seen in stage late VI-early VII and XIII-XIV. Tubulin immunoreaction in the Sertoli cells was greatly decreased in intensity in tubules where cell sloughing was observed. Electron microscopy showed that there were few microtubules in the body region of these cells. Stages II-V and mid-VII-VIII were exempt from the sloughing effect at 180 min. These changes in microtubules were not observed in Sertoli cells that did not exhibit sloughing characteristics, regardless of the post-treatment intervals. The present results suggest that stage specificity of sloughing is due to the stage-specific susceptibility of Sertoli cell microtubules to CBZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • Carbendazim
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microtubule
  • Rat
  • Sertoli cell
  • Vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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