Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Keywords: Abatacept, fertility, rheumatoid arthritis, safety, testicle


Objectives: This study aims to demonstrate the effect of subcutaneous injections of abatacept on the histology of testes in mice.

Materials and methods: The study included 20 male BALB/c mice (average weight, 25 g; aged 12-14 weeks). Ten mice received subcutaneous (SC) injections of abatacept [0.25 mg per 25 g body weight per 0.03 mL normal saline (NS)] at zero, two, four and eight weeks. As the control group, 10 mice received SC injections of NS (0.03 mL). At the post-injection 10th week, the mice were sacrificed, and histopathological studies were conducted.

Results: The results showed that 3/10 mice died of the abatacept-treated group. Testicular histology for the abatacept-treated group showed that 7/7 displayed no histopathological changes.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first control-blinded study of BALB/c mice suggesting that abatacept may not have testicular toxicity. Further fertility and testicular toxicology evaluations including semen analysis and gonadal hormones should be performed to clarify our findings.

Citation: Al-Mogairen S. Does Abatacept Induce Testicular Toxicity? Arch Rheumatol 2020;35(2):220-225.

Conflict of Interest

The author declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The author received financial support for the Scientific Research from King Saud University through Research Group no RG RGP-VPP-126.


The authors are thankful to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this work through Research Group no RG RGP-VPP-126. The author is grateful to the histopathologist Dr. A. Al Humidi for the reporting of the histopathological studies. The author is also grateful to Dr. Najma Khalil, Dr. Abdullah Al Kahil, Mr. R. Eulin, Ms. N. Ocampo and Ms. J. Mendoza for their assistance, and to the Research Ethics Committee at the College of Medicine for the approval of this study.