The possible protective effect of an agonist of luteinising hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) against the ovarian damage caused by cyclophosphamide was investigated in rats. D-Trp6-LH-RH microcapsules were injected once a month for 3 months, in a dose calculated to release 25 μg day-1. Control animals received the injection vehicle. Sixty days after the first injection of microcapsules, cyclophosphamide was given at a loading dose of 50 mg kg-1 followed by 5 mg kg-1 for 30 days, while the treatment with D-Trp6-LH-RH was continued. When the ovaries were examined 3 months and 5 months after discontinuation of treatment, a significant reduction in the total number of follicles (P < 0.01) was found in non-pretreated animals given cyclophosphamide. This reduction affected mainly follicles larger than 100 μm. An irreversible disintegration and destruction of granulosa cells was also observed in this group. In animals pretreated with D-Trp6-LH-RH, administration of cyclophosphamide caused no reduction in the number and diameter of follicles. Thus, the treatment with D-Trp6-LH-RH microcapsules before and during chemotherapy prevented the ovarian injury inflicted by cyclophosphamide. The suppression of gonadal function by LH-RH analogues could be possibly utilised for the protection of the ovaries against damage caused by cytotoxic drugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research