Inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase may have preventive potential for varicocoele-associated testicular damage in rats

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Varicocele is ordinarily accompanied by testicular damage and male infertility. Several theories have been proposed to explain the detrimental effect of varicocele on testis tissue, including the possible effects of oxidative stress. The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) pathway has been established as a major downstream intracellular pathway of oxidative stress. Recently we have reported that PARP pathway has been activated in varicocele-induced rat testicular damage model. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible protective effect of PARP inhibition in varicocele-associated testicular damage. Fifty male Wistar rats were divided into five groups: control, sham, varicocele-induced, varicocele-induced 1,5-isoquinolinediol (ISO, a PARP inhibitor)-treated, and ISO treated groups. The ISO-treated rats received intraperitoneal injections of 3 mg/kg ISO daily for 13 weeks. After 13 weeks of varicocele induction, body and testes weights were investigated in all groups. Histopathology of testes were evaluated by light microscopy. Expressions of PAR, p53 and cytochrome c were detected by immunohistochemistry and cleaved PARP-1, PAR, p53 and cytochrome c by western blot. The degree of apoptosis was determined by TUNEL. Light microscopy revealed testicular damage comprising various degrees of seminiferous tubule degeneration in varicocele-induced rats and their testes weights decreased significantly, whereas ISO administration prevented it. Expressions of cleaved PARP-1, PAR, cytochrome c, and p53 increased significantly in varicocele-induced rats, whereas the level of these molecules were similar to controls in varicocele-induced rats treated with ISO. In conclusion, increased PARP activation in testes seems to be related with testicular damage and apoptosis associated with varicocele and pharmacological inhibition of this pathway might be an effective intervention to prevent varicocele-induced testicular injury.

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