Resveratrol alleviates diabetes-induced testicular dysfunction by inhibiting oxidative stress and c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling in rats

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Diabetes adversely affects reproductive functions in humans and animals. The present study investigated the effects of Resveratrol on diabetes-induced alterations in oxidative stress, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling and apoptosis in the testis. Adult male Wistar rats (13–15 weeks; n = 6/group) were segregated into 1) normal control, 2) Resveratrol-treated (5 mg/kg; ip; given during last 3 weeks), 3) Streptozotocin-induced diabetic and, 4) Resveratrol-treated diabetic groups, and euthanized on day 42 after the confirmation of diabetes. Resveratrol did not normalize blood glucose levels in diabetic rats. Resveratrol supplementation recovered diabetes-induced decreases in reproductive organ weights, sperm count and motility, intra-testicular levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase and an increase in 4-hydroxynonenal activities (P < 0.05). Resveratrol also recovered diabetes-induced increases in JNK signaling pathway proteins, namely, ASK1 (apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1), JNKs (46 and 54 kDa isoforms) and p-JNK to normal control levels (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the expression of a down-stream target of ASK1, MKK4 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4) and its phosphorylated form (p-MKK4) did not change in experimental groups. Resveratrol inhibited diabetes-induced increases in AP-1 (activator protein-1) components, c-Jun and ATF2 (activating transcription factor 2), but not their phosphorylated forms, to normal control levels (P < 0.05). Further, Resveratrol inhibited diabetes-induced increase in cleaved-caspase-3 to normal control levels. In conclusion, Resveratrol alleviates diabetes-induced apoptosis in testis by modulating oxidative stress, JNK signaling pathway and caspase-3 activities, but not by inhibiting hyperglycemia, in rats. These results suggest that Resveratrol supplementation may be a useful strategy to treat diabetes-induced testicular dysfunction.

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