Castration induces progressive increase in the carotid intima-medial thickness of the male rat

Objectives: The role of androgens in the development of cardiovascular diseases remains controversial. The current study therefore aimed to determine the changes in the carotid intima-medial thickness of the male rat in surgically-induced hypogonadism. Methods: Twenty-two Rattus norvegicus male rats aged two months were used. The rats were randomly assigned into baseline (4), experimental (9) and control (9) groups. Hypogonadism was surgically induced in the experimental group by bilateral orchiectomy under local anesthesia. At experiment weeks 3, 6 and 9, three rats from each group (experimental and control) were euthanized, their common carotid artery harvested, and routine processing was done for paraffin embedding, sectioning and staining. The photomicrographs were taken using a digital photomicroscope for morphometric analysis. Results: The mean carotid intima-median thickness was 321.97 μm at baseline. There was a progressive increase in the carotid intima-median thickness by 17.6%, 37% and 67.1% of the baseline values in the castrated group at the end of the third, sixth and ninth week respectively (p

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