Testicular torsion potentially leads to acute scrotum and testicle loss, and requires prompt surgical intervention to restore testicular blood flow, despite the paradoxical negative effect of reperfusion. While no drug is yet approved for this condition, antioxidants are promising candidates. This study aimed to determine astaxanthin's (ASX), a potent antioxidant, effect on rat testicular torsion-detorsion injury. Thirty-two prepubertal male Fischer rats were divided into four groups. Group 1 underwent sham surgery. In group 2, the right testis was twisted at 720° for 90 min. After 90 min of reperfusion, the testis was removed. ASX was administered intraperitoneally at the time of detorsion (group 3) and 45 min after detorsion (group 4). Quantification of caspase-3 positive cells and oxidative stress markers detection were determined immunohistochemically, while the malondialdehyde (MDA) value, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were determined by colorimetric assays. The number of apoptotic caspase-3 positive cells and the MDA value were lower in group 4 compared to group 2. A significant increase in the SOD and GPx activity was observed in group 4 compared to groups 2 and 3. We conclude that ASX has a favorable effect on testicular ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.
Keywords: acute scrotum; antioxidants; apoptosis; astaxanthin; carotenoids; infertility; ischemia-reperfusion injury; rats; testicular torsion.