A comparison of the effects of N-acetylcysteine and ethyl pyruvate on experimental testicular ischemia-reperfusion injury

Fertil Steril. 2012 Sep;98(3):626-31. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.05.034. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Objective: To compare the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and ethyl pyruvate (EP) on experimental testicular ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury.

Design: Randomized, controlled, experimental study.

Setting: University hospital.

Animal(s): Twenty-four mature male Wistar rats.

Intervention(s): Rats were divided into four groups: control group, torsion-detorsion (T/D) group, EP group, and NAC group. In the pretreatment of the NAC and EP groups, 20 mg/kg NAC and 50 mg/kg EP were given intraperitoneally (IP) 30 minutes before detorsion.

Main outcome measure(s): Serum ischemia-modified albumin (IMA), tissue and serum malondialdehyde, and myeloperoxidase activity levels and histopathological damage scores were then compared.

Result(s): Ethyl pyruvate and N-acetylcysteine exhibited a protective effect against I/R injury. Of the biochemical parameters evaluated as a result of testicular I/R, only IMA levels were significantly elevated. There was a strong and significant correlation between serum IMA levels and histopathological injury scores, and the increase in serum IMA level exhibited a strong parallel with the increase in histopathological injury. In the EP group, although the histopathological injury score was similar to that of the control group, serum IMA levels were significantly elevated.

Conclusion(s): Both NAC and EP, the effects of which on I/R injury are evaluated in the present study, reduce such injury in testicular torsion-detorsion. Comparing their effects on IMA levels, NAC may be regarded as a relatively more effective treatment than EP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Pyruvates / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Testis / blood supply*


  • Pyruvates
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Serum Albumin
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Peroxidase
  • Acetylcysteine