The role of flaxseed and vitamin E on oxidative stress in prepubertal rats with experimental varicocele: An experimental study

January 1, 2013 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

The role of flaxseed and vitamin E on oxidative stress in prepubertal rats with experimental varicocele: An experimental study

Year: 2013
Authors: Sohrabipour, S. Jafari, A. Kamalineiad, M. Sarrafnejd, A. Shahrestany, T. Sadeghipour, H-R
Publication Name: Iran J Reprod Med
Publication Details: Volume 11; Issue 6; Pages 459-466


Prepubertal varicocele has the most devastating effects on the testes. Oxidative stress is the major cause leading to infertility in varicocele. The antioxidant properties of Flaxseed (FS) treatment in some oxidative diseases have been reported. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant effect of FS in prepubertal rats with experimental varicocele. Materials and Methods: Forty two male prepubertal rats were divided into 6 groups: the varicocele group were either fed with 10 per cent FS, or with regular diet, or with Vit E, the group with sham operation fed with 10 per cent FS, or had regular diet, and control rats who had not been operated but received regular diet. Varicocele was created by Koksal method. After 6 weeks sperm superoxide anion and H2O2 were evaluated by flowcytometery. Semen total antioxidant capacity (TAC) by Koracevic method and testes malondialdehyde (MDA) by thiobarbituric acid with spectrophotometry was measured. Results: While superoxide anion and H2O2 were significantly higher in varicocele grop with regular diet, FS significantly decreased the previously- mentioned parameters. There were no significant differences for seminal TAC between 6 groups. Left testicular MDA concentration were lower in varicocele or group that were fed with 10 per cent FS compared with other groups. Conclusion: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may cause sperm oxidative damage. FS as a fat soluble antioxidant can scavenge intracellular ROS production in varicocele. (Authors abstract)
The incidence of varicocele in Prepubertal age is up to 20 per cent, which is similar to the incidence of varicoceles in adults. Varicocele in adolescence has the most devastating effects on the testes. The exact mechanism is not clear but oxidative stress is considered as a major cause that leads to infertility.  Antioxidant therapy is effective in reducing the oxidative stress in men or animals; although it is not clear which antioxidant and which dose is more effective in male infertility. Considering the evidence present in the current and older literature we have evaluated the antioxidant efficacy of flaxseed (FS) in rats with prepubertal varicocele. Since FS is lipophilic antioxidant so it can easily pass the blood testis barrier and can induce direct antioxidant activity. It can also be orally assumed. Vitamin E is the most lipophilic antioxidant that is used in enhancing of sperm quality.  FS antioxidant’s properties are compared with vitamin E. This work aims to extend findings on the protective role of FS in scavenging ROS in prepubertal induced varicocele and showed a significant increase in the production of superoxide anion and H2O2 inside the sperms in both sides in rat with varicocele compared with the control and sham groups. However, rats supplemented with FS had a lower production level of superoxide anion and H2O2. So it seems that dietary FS are protective against oxidative stress in rats with varicocele. FS showed antioxidant activities in diabetes, in carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stress, radiotrapy, cancer and also in invitro models. It is possible that FS and vitamin E have similar mechanisms. A radical can abstract a hydrogen atom from the lignan phenol hydroxyl and produce a stable radical so that the lignan radical reacts with a second radical and forms a stable product.
The study shows that FS decreases lipid peroxidation by scavenging hydroxyl radical. Increased production of ROS and or the decrease of local antioxidant capacity, result in oxidative stress impairment of sperm parameters in varicocele. Several studies have reported the effects of increased oxidative stress in the serum, semen, and testicular tissues of patients with varicocele. Flaxseed is a safe, economically affordable nutritional agent, which is currently used in a number of clinical trials and can thus prove to be a useful alternative.  Dietary flaxseed has high contents of omega 3 fatty acid and lignans with antioxidant properties. This study shows that dietary FS can reduce sperm and testis oxidative damage in prepubertal varicocele model and this protective effect may in part be mediated by scavenging of ROS. However there is a need for prospective randomized clinical trials including pregnancy rates on the basis of this experimental observation to reach definitive conclusion. (Editors comments)

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