Role of oxidative stress in therapeutic administration of artesunate on sperm quality and testosterone level in male albino rats
The effects of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, on sperm quality, testosterone levels, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration were studied in artesunate treated rats. 25 male rats (160 to 250 g) divided into five groups were used for the study. Group 1 animals received normal saline and served as control while groups 2 to 5 received artesunate in therapeutic doses of 2.9 mg/Kg body weight on day 1 and 1.45 mg/Kg body weight on days 2 to 5 orally. Following artesunate pretreatment, groups 3, 4 and 5 rats received vitamin C (100 mg/kg), vitamin E (100 mg/kg) and a combination of both respectively orally for the 5 days. There was no significant difference in sperm viability and motility in all groups while count significantly (p<0.05) increased in group 3 animals treated with vitamin C. Serum testosterone level was significantly increased (p< 0.05) in groups 4 and 5. The MDA concentrations were significantly increased (p < 0.05) while SOD activity concurrently decreased significantly (p<0.05) in groups 2, 3, and 5 indicating an oxidative-counter oxidative relationship. It was thus concluded that artesunate at therapeutic doses and duration had no significant effect on sperm quality and serum testosterone level in male rats while vitamin C, and combination of vitamins C and E tend to promote reproductive functions in artesunate-treated male rats.
Key words: Artesunate, vitamin C, vitamin E, sperm quality, superoxide dismutase activity, malondialdehyde concentration.