Abstract Title:

Alpha-lipoic acid effectively attenuates ionizing radiation-mediated testicular dysfunction in rats: Crosstalk of NF-ĸB, TGF-β, and PPAR-ϒ pathways.

Abstract Source:

Toxicology. 2020 Jul 7 ;442:152536. Epub 2020 Jul 7. PMID: 32649955

Abstract Author(s):

Riham Soliman Said, Heba A Mohamed, Dina Hamada Kassem

Article Affiliation:

Riham Soliman Said


Radiotherapy is one of the principal approaches employed in the treatment of pelvic cancers. Nevertheless, testicular dysfunction and infertility are among the most common adverse effects in young adult cancer survivors. Clinically, alpha-lipoic acid (LA) has been applied to improve the quality of sperm with a satisfactory effect. Therefore, the present study investigated the underlying mechanisms of the radioprotective effects of LA against testicular damage. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 10 Gy of whole-body ϒ-radiation and LA (50 mg/kg, P.O.) was administered one week before and three days post-irradiation. LA showed remarkable capacity in preserving testicular tissue against radiation damage by improving histological and ultrastructural changes of disorganized seminiferous tubules, besides enhancing its diameter, germinal epithelial thickness, and Johnsen's score. Radiation instigated a significant decrease in sperm quality and quantity associated with depletion of serum testosterone levels, while the LA administration maintained spermatogenesis. Strikingly, LA exhibited antioxidant properties by restoring reduced glutathione levels and antioxidant enzyme activities such as catalase and glutathione-s-transferase, besides diminishing malondialdehyde levels in the testis of irradiated group. Furthermore, LA alleviated testicular inflammation through downregulation of nuclear factor-ĸB (NF-ĸB) expression with a subsequent reduction in interleukin (IL)-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 expression, accompanied by the augmented expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Additionally, testicular fibrosis markers including Masson's trichrome and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β expression were noticeably declined in LA-treated irradiated rats, together with the upregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-ϒ expression. Collectively, LA ameliorates radiation-mediated spermatogenesis-defects and testicular-damage via suppression of oxidative stress/NF-ĸB/TGF-β signaling.

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