Vitexin alleviates streptozotocin-induced sexual dysfunction and fertility impairments in male mice via modulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.
Chem Biol Interact. 2019 Jan 5 ;297:119-129. Epub 2018 Oct 23. PMID: 30365938
Diabetes-associated sexual dysfunction and fertility impairments are major secondary complications in diabetic patients and animal models. Natural herbs are important sources of therapeutic agents for diabetic complications. This study investigated the effect of vitexin on male sexual dysfunction and fertility impairments in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 45 mg/kg STZ for 5 consecutive days in mice. Vitexin (10, 20 or 40 mg/kg) and Sildenafil citrate (SC, 5 mg/kg) were administered daily for 62 days after the induction of diabetes. The parameters of sexual behavior and fertility were analyzed. The reproductive organ weight, sperm motility, and viability of the treated mice were examined. Testicular histopathological alterations were detected by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to evaluate serum hormonal levels. Results showed that 40 mg/kg vitexin significantly improved the sexual behavior and fertility levels compared with the diabetic group. Moreover, vitexin (20 or 40 mg/kg) significantly increased reproductive organ weight and improved testicular pathological structure damage. Meanwhile, sperm analysis demonstrated thatvitexin significantly restored sperm quality in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, ELISA data showed that vitexin significantly increased the serum testosterone (T), follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels but decreased the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)level to different degrees. These findings suggest that vitexin ameliorates sexual dysfunction and fertility impairments in male diabetic mice possibly by modulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.