Methylene blue increases contralateral testicular ischaemia-reperfusion injury after unilateral testicular torsion

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2008 Jan;35(1):50-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04736.x.


1. Testicular ischaemia-reperfusion injury is commonly seen in childhood. Infertility occurs in 25% of patients after unilateral testicular ischaemia. It is has been reported that methylene blue has a positive effect in the reparation of ischaemia-reperfusion injury in different tissues. Therefore, we hypothesized that methylene blue may prevent the hazardous effects of ischaemia-reperfusion injury in testicular tissue after unilateral testicular torsion. 2. Thirty-two prepubertal Wistar-albino rats were divided into four groups. Testicular torsion was created by rotating the right testis 720 degrees in a clockwise direction for 5 h in all groups except for Group C, which was the sham control group. In Group T, bilateral orchiectomy was performed following the torsion period. In Group TD, both testes were removed 5 days after the torsion period. In Group MB, methylene blue (1 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 40 min before detorsion and once daily over 5 days; then, both testes were harvested. Tissue levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), serum levels of creatine kinase (CK), mean testicular biopsy score (MTBS) and mean seminifer tubule diameter (MSTD) were determined. 3. There was a significant difference in MTBS between Groups T and TD (P < 0.05) in both ipsilateral and contralateral testes. In the contralateral testis, treatment with methylene blue decreased MTBS and MSTD (P < 0.05) and increased MDA levels (P < 0.05). In Group T, mean serum CK concentrations were higher than in any of the other groups (P < 0.05). 4. After 5 h of unilateral testicular torsion and a 5 day reperfusion period, serious tissue damage occurred on both the ipsilateral and contralateral sides. Serum CK concentrations may be an indicator for ischaemia, but not for ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Contrary to our hypothesis, methylene blue increased contralateral testicular damage after unilateral testicular torsion and exacerbated oxidative events.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Methylene Blue / adverse effects*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / chemically induced
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Spermatic Cord Torsion / complications*
  • Spermatic Cord Torsion / metabolism
  • Spermatic Cord Torsion / pathology
  • Testicular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Testicular Diseases / etiology*
  • Testicular Diseases / metabolism
  • Testicular Diseases / pathology
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / enzymology
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Xanthine Oxidase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Xanthine Oxidase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Methylene Blue