The protective effects of tacrolimus on rat uteri exposed to ischemia-reperfusion injury: a biochemical and histopathologic evaluation

Fertil Steril. 2014 Apr;101(4):1176-82. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.12.044. Epub 2014 Feb 4.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of the immunosuppressant tacrolimus as an antioxidant and analyze the histopathologic changes in rat uteri exposed to experimental ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury.

Design: Experimental study.

Setting: Experimental surgery laboratory in a university.

Animal(s): Twenty-eight female rats exposed to experimentally induced uterine I/R injury.

Intervention(s): Group I: control group; group II: uterine I/R injury-induced group; group III: pre-ischemia tacrolimus group; group IV: post-ischemia tacrolimus group.

Main outcome measure(s): Uterine tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) level as a marker of lipid peroxidation and glutathione (GSH) level and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities as markers of tissue antioxidant capacity; histopathologic examination of all uterine rat tissue.

Result(s): Following aortic I/R injury, MDA levels were significantly increased whereas GSH levels and CAT and SOD activities were found to be decreased compared with control animals. MDA levels were found to recover prominently after the administration of tacrolimus in both groups III and IV. Administration of tacrolimus improved uterine GSH levels and CAT activity in the tacrolimus-treated groups.

Conclusion(s): Our results indicate that tacrolimus reduces oxidative damage in rat uteri exposed to I/R injury induced by distal abdominal aortic occlusion. Histologic evaluation reveals that tacrolimus attenuates the inflammatory response and protects the tissue damage induced by I/R injury.

Keywords: Ischemia-reperfusion injury; rat; tacrolimus; transplantation; uterus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Endometritis / drug therapy
  • Endometritis / metabolism*
  • Endometritis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology*
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Tacrolimus