Objective: To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) intervention on expression of cytochrome P 450 side chain cleavage (P 450 scc) and 17 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 (17 β-HSD3) in the testis in partial androgen deficiency of aging male (PADAM) rats so as to reveal its mechanism underlying improving PADAM.
Methods: Thirty male SD rats were randomly and equally divided into control, model, and EA groups. The PADAM model was established by intraperitoneal injection of cyclophosphamide (20 mg · kg(-1) · d(-1)), once daily for 5 days. EA (20-30 Hz, 1-3 mA) was applied to bilateral "Shenshu" (BL 23) and "Guanyuan" (CV 4) for 15 min, once daily for 8 weeks. Serum total testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT) levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The expression levels of P 450 scc/17 β-HSD3 proteins and mRNA in the testis tissue were assayed by immunohistochemistry, Western bolt (WB) and RT-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), separately.
Results: Compared with the control group, both serum TT, FT levels and expression levels of P450 scc/17 β-HSD3 proteins and mRNA in the testis tissue in the model group were significantly down-regulated (P<0.01). After EA intervention, compared with the model group, the cyclophosphamide-induced decrease of serum TT, FT levels and the expression levels of P 450 scc/17 β-HSD3 proteins and mRNA in the testis was reversed in the EA group (P<0.01).
Conclusion: EA intervention is effective in up-regulating serum TT and FT, testicular P 450 scc and 17 β-HSD3 proteins and mRNA levels in PADAM rats, which may be one of its mechanisms underlying improvement of PADAM.