The effect of diabetes on sexual behavior and reproductive tract function in male rats

J Urol. 1993 Jan;149(1):148-54. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)36028-7.


The effect of streptozotocin induced diabetes and sabeluzole (SBZ) on sexual function was evaluated in male rats. SBZ is a benzothiazole derivative with antihypoxic and antiischaemic activities. Rats were rendered diabetic by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin, 60 mg./kg. body weight, and either left untreated or treated with 1.0 mg./kg. of SBZ. Two groups of control rats treated with or without SBZ were also evaluated. Seven weeks after the induction of diabetes, all rats were studied in vivo for mating behavior. Animals were sacrificed one week later, and detrusor strip response in vitro was evaluated. The reproductive organ weight, sperm content and motility as well as in vitro testosterone secretion and serum levels of LH and testosterone were determined. Diabetes induced significant reduction in mating behavior. The diabetic rats that received SBZ showed a significant improvement in mating behavior. The percentage of animals that exhibited ejaculation was 0% in the diabetic group compared to 70% in the controls and 38% in diabetic plus SBZ group. The strips of the detrusor muscle of the diabetic group showed a marked hypersensitivity to bethanechol HCL. In the diabetic plus SBZ group, the strips of the detrusor muscle showed a response similar to that of the control. The diabetic rats had significantly diminished reproductive organ weight, testicular sperm content, epididymal sperm content and sperm motility relative to the control. In addition, marked decrease in the serum level of testosterone and in vitro testosterone secretion was observed in diabetic rats. In the diabetic plus SBZ group, the reproductive organ weight, sperm content and motility as well as serum testosterone and in vitro testosterone secretion showed an improvement compared to diabetic rats. In summary, our data suggest that sex behavior and reproductive tract functions are markedly affected by streptozotocin induced diabetes. Sabeluzole treatment could be beneficial in reducing the deleterious effect of diabetes on sexual functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Epididymis / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Sperm Count / drug effects
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Streptozocin / pharmacology*
  • Testis / anatomy & histology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*
  • Urinary Bladder / physiology


  • Piperidines
  • Thiazoles
  • Testosterone
  • Streptozocin
  • sabeluzole