Some effects of furazolidone on the testis and plasma levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and prolactin in mature male turkeys

B. H. Ali, J. L. Silsby, K. J. Loseth, B. Crabo, M. E. El Halawani

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Adult male turkeys were treated orally with furazolidone at doses of 1, 2.5, 5 or 20 mg/kg of 14 days and their plasma analysed for luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and prolactin (PRL) concentrations before, during and after treatment. At 20 mg/kg the drug produced a significant decrease in the plasma levels of LH and testosterone at the end of treatment, whereas at 5 mg/kg the drug had no significant effect. Prolactin concentrations were unaffected by any of the drug doses used. Intramuscular injection of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) at a dose of 5 μg/kg produced after 30 min a significant rise in plasma levels of LH, an effect that was decreased significantly by treatment with 20 mg/kg furazolidone. Incubation of normal turkey semen with graded doses of furazolidone or nitrofurazone for up to 30 min resulted in a dose- and time-dependent decrease in sperm motility. At a concentration of 20 mg/ml a complete absence of sperm motility was observed after incubation with either drug, although, on the whole, nitrofurazone seemed more potent than furazolidone as a sperm-immobilizing agent. Histological changes occurred in the 20 mg/kg group and consisted of a decrease in spermatocyte production, corrugation of sperm cell nuclear envelopes and distention of the endoplasmic reticulum of elongate spermatids. It is concluded that furazolidone depresses pituitary LH output but may, in addition, directly affect spermatogenesis and sperm motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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