Background: It has been demonstrated that taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the male reproductive system, and can be biosynthesized by male reproductive organs. But the effect of taurine on male reproduction is poorly understood.
Methods: Taurine and beta-alanine (taurine transport inhibitor) were offered in water to male rats of different ages. The effects of taurine on reproductive hormones, testis marker enzymes, antioxidative ability and sperm quality were investigated.
Results: The levels of T and LH were obviously increased by taurine supplementation in rats of different ages, and the level of E was also significantly elevated in baby rats. The levels of SOD, ACP, SDH and NOS were obviously increased by taurine administration in adult rats, but the levels of AKP, AST, ALT and NO were significantly decreased. The levels of SOD, ACP, LDH, SDH, NOS, NO and GSH were significantly elevated by taurine administration in aged rats, but the levels of AST and ALT were significantly decreased. The motility of spermatozoa was obviously increased by taurine supplement in adult rats. The numbers and motility of spermatozoa, the rate of live spermatozoa were significantly increased by taurine supplement in aged rats.
Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that a taurine supplement could stimulate the secretion of LH and T, increase the levels of testicular marker enzymes, elevate testicular antioxidation and improve sperm quality. The results imply that taurine plays important roles in male reproduction especially in aged animals.