Immunohistochemistry Study on Androgen and Estrogen Receptors of Rat Seminal Vesicle Submitted to Simultaneous Alcohol-Nicotine Treatment

Document Type : Original Article


1 Neuroscience Research Center, Neuropharmacology Institute, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Afzali Pour Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Colorectal Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Alcohol consumption is habitually accompanied by the use of other psychoactive substances, mostly tobacco. Nicotine and alcohol affect male accessory reproductive glands function. Most studies have been done on pathologic features of prostate, but there has been no systematic study on the seminal vesicle. Therefore, the aim of current study was to investigate the distribution of androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptors-beta (ER-β) immune reactivities following long-term treatment of alcohol, nicotine or a combination of both substances.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, a total of 40 adult Wistar rats, nine weeks of age, were used. Animals were randomly divided into four groups, including: i. Control group receiving normal saline 0.09%, ii. Ethanol group receiving ethanol 20% (2 ml/kg, via gavage), iii. Nicotine group receiving nicotine (0.1 mg/kg, subcutaneous injection), and iv. Ethanol-nicotine group receiving simultaneous ethanol 20% (2 ml/kg) and nicotine (0.1 mg/kg) treatment. All treatment lasted for eight weeks. Prior to intracardiac perfusion, blood sample was collected from left ventricle. The seminal vesicles were isolated and processed for paraffin blocking. The sample tissues were then studied for distribution of AR and ER-β immunereactivities using immunohistochemical (IHC) staining method. One way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s test were performed for data analysis. A value of P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Our results revealed that the lowest mean number of positive cells belonged to the animals of ethanol-nicotine group that was followed by the ethanol, nicotine, and control groups, respectively. However, there was no significant difference regarding serum testosterone level among experimental groups.
It was concluded that combination of both ethanol and nicotine may be a crucial factor in the expression levels of AR and ER-β.