Ketamine effects on the urogenital system--changes in the urinary bladder and sperm motility

Microsc Res Tech. 2011 Dec;74(12):1192-8. doi: 10.1002/jemt.21014. Epub 2011 May 11.


Different doses of ketamine (10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg, 30 mg/kg, 40 mg/kg, 50 mg/kg, and 60 mg/kg) were injected i.p. (I.P.), respectively, to male ICR mice to determine the optimal dosage for chronic administration. At and above 40 mg/kg I.P. injection, mice had almost no hindlimb movement during swimming test. Subsequently, 30 mg/kg was used as the dose for the study in the toxicity of long-term ketamine administration on urinary bladder and sperm motility. The treatment group were subdivided into two (n = 10 each group); one received daily ketamine treatment i.p. for 3 months and another group for 6 months. Corresponding number of mice in control groups (n = 5 each group) received saline injection instead of ketamine. Terminal dUTP nick and labeling (TUNEL) study and Sirius red staining were carried out on the sectioned slides of the urinary bladders to study the degree of apoptosis in both epithelium and muscular layers of the urinary bladder and the relative thickness of the muscular layers in this organ was also computed. Apoptosis in the bladder epithelium was observed initially in the 3-month ketamine treated mice and the number of apoptotic cells was significantly different (P < 0.05) between the 3-month and 6-month ketamine treated mice and the control. The relative thickness of muscular layers in the bladder wall also decreased significantly (P < 0.05) when the 6-month treated mice and the control were compared. Sirius red staining revealed increase of collagen in the urinary bladder of the treated mice, most evidently 6 months after ketamine treatment. In addition, the sperm motility was studied and there was a statistically significant difference between the control and ketamine treated groups in the percentages of sperms which were motile (P < 0.05). This suggested that the chronic administration of ketamine affected the genital system as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Ketamine / administration & dosage
  • Ketamine / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth / pathology
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects*
  • Urinary Bladder / drug effects*
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urothelium / drug effects
  • Urothelium / pathology


  • Analgesics
  • Ketamine