Korean red ginseng improves testicular ineffectiveness in aging rats by modulating spermatogenesis-related molecules

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Abstract

Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) is known to rejuvenate testicular effectiveness and the sperm maturation process by regulating redox proteins in aged rats. This study was performed to investigate the effect of Korean red ginseng water extract (KRG-WE) on the expression level of spermatogenesis-related key biomolecules and sex hormone receptors as well as enzymes regulating oxidation, histone deacetylation, and growth-related activities in aged rat testis. KRG-WE (200 mg/kg) mixed with a regular pellet diet was administered to 12-month-old rats for 6 months (KRG-AC), whereas the young (YC, 2 months) and aged (AC, 12 months) controls received the vehicle only. The results showed that the expression levels of spermatogenesis-related key biomolecules (inhibin-α, nectin-2, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate [cAMP] responsive element binding protein [CREB]-1), sex hormone receptors (androgen, luteinizing- and follicle-stimulating hormone receptors [AR, LHR, and FSHR, respectively]), and antioxidant enzymes (glutathione S-transferase mu [GSTm]-5, glutathione peroxidase [GPx]-4, peroxiredoxin [PRx]-3), as well as histone deactylation (silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1, SIRT1) and growth-related (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1, mTORC1) molecules were significantly altered in the AC group rat testes compared with those of the YC group. However, KRG-WE treatment of the AC group significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated these molecular changes. From these results, it can be concluded that long-term administration of KRG-WE significantly delayed the aging-induced testicular dysfunction.

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