Testicular atrophy in the spontaneously diabetic BB Wistar rat.
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Complete gross and microscopic postmortem examinations were performed on 100 BB Wistar diabetic rats, 27 BB Wistar nondiabetic siblings, and 41 Wistar rats, and the incidence of testicular lesions was tabulated. Testicular atrophy was the predominant finding in all three groups of rats, but atrophy occurred at a much younger age in the diabetic rats. There was a strong relationship between the duration of diabetes and the presence of atrophy, which was stronger than the relationship between age and atrophy. The testicular atrophy observed in the diabetic rats was morphologically similar to the senile testicular atrophy in the nondiabetic rats. Histologic findings that were associated with increasing severity of atrophy were multinucleated giant cells in the lumens of seminiferous tubules, increased interstitial connective tissue, Leydig cell hyperplasia, and thickening of the tunica albuginea. Testicular atrophy has also been reported in human diabetics. Therefore, the BB Wistar rat may be a useful model for investigating this aspect of diabetes mellitus.
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