Diabetes mellitus is a well-recognized cause of male sexual dysfunction and impairments of male fertility. Streptozotocin (STZ) is used for medical treatment of neoplastic islet β-cells of pancreas and producing of animal model of diabetes mellitus type 1 that is characterized by suppression of reproductive activity due to the hyperglycaemia-induced oxidative stress and histopathological alterations in testes. Seeking for the agents that could alleviate diabetes-induced damage to reproductive system is yet the important area of inquiry. The present study was designed to evaluate whether hydrated C(60) fullerene (C(60)HyFn), which is known to be powerful bioantioxidant, eliminate testicular dysfunction induced by STZ-diabetes in rats. Wistar strain male albino rats were divided into four groups of six animals each: (1) control group, (2) C(60)HyFn-treated nondiabetic group, (3) STZ-diabetic group and (4) C(60)HyFn-treated diabetic group. Once hyperglycaemia was induced by STZ, rats in the second and fourth groups were treated with C(60)HyFn (in the form of drinking water) at the dose of 4μg/kg daily for 5 weeks. In diabetic rats, relative weights of right cauda epididymis, seminal vesicles, prostate, sperm motility and epididymal sperm concentration were significantly less than those of control group, but which were restored in the fourth group treated with C(60)HyFn (p<0.001). In hematoxylin and eosin staining, marked histopathological changes including degeneration, desquamation, disorganisation and reduction in germinal cells, interstitial oedema and congestion were evident in the testis of diabetic rats, but C(60)HyFn treatment resulted in recovery of histopathological changes and an increase in Johnsen's testicular score significantly (p<0.001). C(60)HyFn treatment restores the increased apoptosis induced by STZ-diabetes. In diabetic rats, levels of serum testosterone, testicular reduced glutathione (GSH) and alpha-tocopherol were significantly reduced and testicular lipid peroxidation level was increased (p<0.001). Nevertheless, treatment of diabetic rats with C(60)HyFn resulted in significant corrective effects on these parameters towards the control levels. C(60)HyFn, applied alone, did not exert any toxic effects in testicular tissues. Furthermore, C(60)HyFn treatment in diabetic and nondiabetic rats resulted in considerable elevations of some important polyunsaturated fatty acids. In conclusion, we have presented for the first time substantial evidence that administration of C(60)HyFn significantly reduces diabetes-induced oxidative stress and associated complications such as testicular dysfunction and spermatogenic disruption.
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