Protective effect of magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate on ethanol-induced testicular injuries in mice

J Biomed Res. 2010 Mar;24(2):153-60. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(10)60024-3.


Objective: Ethanol treatment induces an increase in oxidative stress. As licorice compounds are potent antioxidants, our aim was to examine whether magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate attenuated lipid peroxidation, the major end-point of oxidative damage resulting from ethanol administration.

Methods: Four groups(18 animals in each group) of male Kunming mice were used. The first group served as control and received 0.4 ml normal saline daily for 18 days orally. The second group of mice was given 56% ethanol at 16 ml/kg body weight per day for 18 days orally. The third group was given the same dose of ethanol and administrated magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate (15 mg/kg.d, i.p.) for 18 days. The fourth group was given the same dose of ethanol and administrated with magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate (45 mg/kg.d, i.p.) for 18 days. Twenty four hours after 9 days or 18 days of treatment the mice were sacrificed using 10% chloral hydrate. Sperm counts and motility in the epididymis were assessed. The lipid peroxidation and antioxidants of testicular mitochondria were also determined. The pathological changes of testicle tissue of the mice were observed by light microscopy.

Results: Magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate effectively prevented the ethanol-induced seminiferous epithelium disorganization and degeneration of Sertoli cells and germ cells. Sperm counts and motility of the magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate treated groups were higher than those of the alcohol treated group, but were lower than those of the control group. The drug exhibited an ability to counteract ethanol induced oxidative challenge as it effectively reduced testicular malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.

Conclusion: Magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate is able to inhibit the ethanol-induced lipid peroxidation and has a protective effect against testicular oxidative injury.

Keywords: ethanol; magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate; oxidative damage; testicular injury.