Effects of Vitamin B12-Deficiency on Testes Tissue in Rats

Tetsunori Kawata, Tomomi Takada, Fusako Morimoto, Naoko Fujimoto, Nobuo Tanaka, Kazuhiro Yamada, Masahiro Wada, Tadahiro Masahiro, Akio Maekawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The state of vitamin B12-deficiency in rats was evaluated by determination of hepatic vitamin B12-dependent enzyme activities after the animals had fed on a vitamin B12-deficient soybean protein diet for 150 days. The effect of vitamin B12-deficiency on testicular tissue was also studied by morphological observations. Growth of vitamin B12-deficient rats was retarded and marked increase in urinary methylmalonic acid was observed. Vitamin B12 contents in the organs were depressed distinctly by the deficiency, especially in testes, vitamin B12 content decreased to 2.5 ng/g. Hepatic methionine synthase and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase activities showed striking depression to 5% of the control rats and extreme vitamin B12-deficiency was confirmed. Testes weight also showed marked decrease together with their relative weight per lOOg body weight. Morphological observations of testes of vitamin B12-deficient rats revealed atrophy of the seminiferous tubules and aplasia of sperms and spermatids. The above results proved that vitamin B12-deficiency affected rat testes, and suggested that the rat could be the animal model for elucidation of the mechanism of B12 action on testicular functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • methionine synthase
  • testicular morphology
  • vitamin B-deficient rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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