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, 10 (2), 125-132

Effects of L-carnitine and Betamethasone on Ischemia-Reperfusion Injuries and Sperm Parameters Following Testicular Torsion in a Rat Model


Effects of L-carnitine and Betamethasone on Ischemia-Reperfusion Injuries and Sperm Parameters Following Testicular Torsion in a Rat Model

Siamak Kazemi-Darabadi et al. Vet Res Forum.


Testicular torsion is a consequence of spermatic cord twisting which causes progressive damage to the structure of the testis and reduces sperm quality and usually results in infertility. In the present study, with the assumption of the protective effects of L-carnitine and betamethasone against ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injuries, their effects on twisted testicles were evaluated and compared. Twenty Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups and used in this study. Except for the Sham (S) group, testicular IR was induced surgically in three other groups, including Control (C), Betamethasone (BM), and L-carnitine (LC) groups. Betamethasone and L-carnitine were injected before detorsion in the BM and LC groups, respectively. After twelve hours of reperfusion, the testicles were detached, and prepared for sperm parameters evaluation such as sperm count, motility, viability, morphology, and chromatin quality, and histopathologic evaluations, including mean seminiferous tubular diameter (MSTD), germinal epithelial cell thickness (GECT), and Johnsen's mean testicular biopsy scoring (MTBS). The MSTD, GECT, and healthy sperms in the C group were significantly lower than the other groups, while the BM and LC groups were significantly different from others in MTBS. The number of sperms and sperm motility in the BM group was significantly higher than the C group. Sperm viability in the BM and LC groups were significantly higher than the C group. The results of this study showed that both L-carnitine and betamethasone similarly can be effective in treating testicular IR injuries.

Keywords: Betamethasone; Carnitine; Reperfusion injury; Sperm characteristics; Spermatic cord torsion.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Evaluation of sperm viability on eosin-stained slides. Dead sperms have red or dark pink heads (white arrows) and live sperms have white or pale pink heads (black arrow) in this staining method
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Evaluation of sperm chromatin quality by sperm DNA fragmentation assay. The full halo around spermatozoa (black arrows) indicates normal DNA and lack of halo (white arrow) indicates damaged DNA
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Histological sections of testicular tissue of the examined rats. A and B) Normal structure of seminiferous tubules in the Sham group. The germinal epithelium is attached to the basement membrane (arrow) and the epithelium has normal cellular layers. C and D) The germinal epithelium in the Control group has detached from the basement membrane in most tubules (arrow). There is not any sperm and the tubules are swollen. E and F) The swelling of tubules has been diminished in the Betamethasone group. G and H) The tubular swelling in the L-carnitine group is less than the Control group but still greater than the Betamethasone group, (H&E).
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
A) Mean seminiferous tubular diameter (MSTD) values (μm) measured in the experimental groups; B) Germinal epithelial cell thickness (GECT) values recorded based on the number of cellular layers; C) Johnsen’s mean testicular biopsy scoring (MTBS) values calculated in the experimental groups. Different letters indicate a significant difference among the groups (p < 0.05)

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