Protective effect of astaxanthin on testicular ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats - results of immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses
Marko Bašković, MD, PhD(c)1, Ana Katušić Bojanac, MD, PhD2, Marta Himelreich Perić, MD, PhD(c)2, Dajana Krsnik, PhD(c)2, Nino Sinčić, MD, PhD2, Davor Ježek, MD, PhD2.
1Children's Hospital Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, 2University of Zagreb, School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia.
BACKGROUND: Testicular torsion is one of the conditions of the acute scrotum that requires immediate surgical intervention. If not recognized at the time, it can result in ischemic injury and testicular loss. Restoration of blood flow is essential to save ischemic tissue, but reperfusion itself paradoxically causes further damage. Seaweed and sponges are considered to be the richest source of bioactive compounds that have antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of astaxanthin is ten times higher than zeaxanthin, lutein, canthaxanthin, β-carotene and 100 times higher than α-tocopherol. Since, to date, there is no drug given to patients with torsion-detorsion testicular injury, we have investigated the effect of this powerful antioxidant. This study aimed to determine the effect of astaxanthin (ASX) on testicular torsion-detorsion injury in rats.
METHODS: Thirty-two prepubertal male Fischer prepubertal rats were divided into four groups of 8 individuals. Group 1 underwent sham surgery to determine basal values for immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses. In group 2 (torsion-detorsion group (T/D)), the right testis was twisted at 720° for 90 min. After 90min of reperfusion, the testis was removed. Astaxanthin was administered intraperitoneally at the time of detorsion (group 3) and 45 minutes after detorsion (group 4) in the treatment groups. For immunohistochemical evaluation we used ImageJ® software. In order to determine the value of malondialdehyde and enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, we used prepared kits and protocols.
RESULTS: The number of apoptotic caspase-3 positive cells is statistically significantly lower in group 4 compared to the T/D group. There is a noticeable decrease in the value of malondialdehyde in group 4 compared to the T/D group. An increase in the enzymatic activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase is observed in group 4 compared to T/D group and group 3.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to comprehensively investigate the effect of astaxanthin on testicular torsion-detorsion injury in rats. Based on the results of immunohistochemical and biochemical research, it can be concluded that astaxanthin has a favourable effect on testicular torsion-detorsion injury in rats.
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