Oxidative stress in rat testis and epididymis under intermittent hypobaric hypoxia: Protective role of ascorbate supplementation

Jorge Gonzalo Farias, Mariela Puebla, Alejandro Acevedo, Pablo José Tapia, Eduardo Gutierrez, Andrea Zepeda, Gloria Calaf, Camila Juantok, Juan G. Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypobaric hypoxia (HH), an environmental condition of high altitude encountered by mountaineers, miners, and observatory, rural health, border patrol, and rural education workers, jeopardizes normal physiologic functions in humans. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of intermittent HH (IHH; equivalent to 4600 m above mean sea level) on oxidative stress and the protective role of dietary ascorbic acid on rat testis and epididymis. Ten-week-old male Wistar rats were assigned to 1 of 6 groups: 1) normobaric (Nx), 2) Nx + physiologic solution (Nx + PS), 3) Nx + ascorbic acid (Nx + AA), 4) IHH, 5) IHH + PS, or 6) IHH + AA. Animals subjected to IHH were exposed for 96 hours followed by normobaric conditions for 96 hours for a total of 32 days. The control groups (2 and 5) were injected with doses of PS, and the treated groups (3 and 6) were injected with doses of AA (10 mg x kg-1 body weight) at an interval of 96 hours. Rats were sacrificed on day 32 after initiation of the protocol. The testis and epididymis were collected to determine the activity and expression of glutathione reductase and the levels of lipid peroxide formation. An epididymal sperm count was also performed in each animal. The results of this study revealed that IHH induced lipid peroxidation, a reduction in glutathione reductase activity in testis and epididymis, and a significant decrease in epididymal sperm count. Treatment with AA prevented these changes. In conclusion, AA was capable of decreasing oxidative stress in testis and epididymis under IHH. This protection by AA of the IHH-induced lipid peroxidation can be explained in part by the preservation of glutathione reductase activity in these organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Andrology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Glutathione reductase
  • Lipid peroxidation

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