This study evaluated the effect of dietary gossypol from whole cottonseed (WCS) and cottonseed cake (CSC) on testicular morphology of Yankasa rams. Fifteen (15) Yankasa rams weighing an average of 20 ± 2 Kg were randomly distributed into three groups (A, B and C) of five rams each and were fed diets containing 48 % WCS, 48 % CSC and control diet (gossypol-free), respectively for 14 weeks. . An ultrasonographic examination of the testes of each ram was done every month for 3 months. At the end of the feeding period, the rams were castrated and histopathogical examination of the testicular tissues (n = 6). Histopathological changes observed in the testes of the rams in the experimental group were depletion of spermatogenic cell layers and arrest of spermatogenesis at the spermatocyte and spermatids levels and an exfoliation of the spermatogonia. There was vacuolation of the germ layers in the seminiferous tubules. These changes were more severe in group B (CSC) than A (WCS) and were indicative of testicular degeneration. Ultrasonograms of the testis of rams from experimental groups showed loss of homogeneity and an increased hyperechoic appearance which were also indicative of testicular degeneration. It was concluded that gossypol from whole cottonseed and cottonseed cake has detrimental effects on testicular histology and the effect on testicular histology was more severe in rams that were fed cottonseed cake.
Gossypol, yankasa ram, histopathology, ultrasonography, cottonseed