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Research articles

ScienceAsia 50 (2024):ID 2024062 1-8 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2024.062

Ginsenoside Rg1 improves spermatogenic dysfunction in cryptorchidism model rats by reducing blood-testis barrier damage

Kang Hongxiaa, Gao Mingtaib, Pei Weib, Wang Shimob, Chen Zhoub, Liu Dengruib,*

ABSTRACT:      Cryptorchidism is a risk factor for male infertility, for which surgical treatment is the principal clinical treatment, but the sperm quality of cryptorchidism patients may continue to be impaired after cryptorchidism surgery. Studies have found that ginsenoside Rg1 can improve reproductive function damage. Therefore, it is speculated that ginsenoside Rg1 may have the potential to prevent and treat cryptorchidism. This study aims to investigate whether ginsenoside Rg1 plays a protective role in rats with flutamide-induced reproductive function impairment and to explore its effect on blood-testis proteins. Pregnant rats were treated with flutamide and ginsenoside Rg1, and newborn male rat serum and testes were collected for further analysis. ELISA detects the level of testosterone (T), luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Hematoxylin & eosin (H&E) and Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining methods were used to detect the testis tissue. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) was used to observe changes in the blood-testis barrier around testicular tissues. Western blot analysis detects Bax, Bcl-2, cleaved caspase-3, ZO-1, N-cadherin, E-cadherin, and Connexin43 proteins. Ginsenoside Rg1 reversed the decrease in testis weight and serum hormone levels in rats induced by flutamide. Ginsenoside Rg1 can improve the sperm density and sperm motility of rats induced by flutamide, reduce testicular tissue damage and spermatogenic cell apoptosis, and even up-regulate these protein expressions including ZO-1, N-cadherin, E-cadherin, and Connexin43 to affect the blood-testis barrier. Apoptotic germ cells were detected by a terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. The protective effect of ginsenoside Rg1 in spermatogenesis may be related to the regulation of reproductive hormones, reducing tissue damage, and activating spermatogenesis-related proteins.

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a Department of Pain, Gansu Province Hospital, Lanzhou 730000 China
b Department of Pediatric Surgery, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China

* Corresponding author, E-mail: Liujiaxia2005@163.com

Received 6 Feb 2023, Accepted 19 Jan 2024