Astragalus polysaccharide relieves reproductive toxicity in phenobarbital-treated epileptic rats
Purpose: To investigate the underlying mechanisms by which Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) relieves the reproductive toxicity induced by phenobarbital (PB) treatment in epileptic rats.
Methods: Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay kits were used to quantify cell apoptosis in an epileptic rat model. The weight of sex organs and levels of three reproductive hormones, viz, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone, were measured in order to evaluate the effect of APS administration on reproductive ability. Concentration, motility, morphology as well as fertilization rate of sperms were analyzed as well.
Results: Increase in sex organ weight and decrease in apoptosis were both associated with oral APS treatment. In APS-treated group, FSH, LH, and testosterone levels were raised while concentration, motility and normal morphology of sperm also increased. This was consistent with the observed increase in fertilization rate. In addition, hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining of the testis was performed in the epileptic rat model showed that the size of cell lumen increased in APS-treated group. All APSassociated phenotypes occurred in a concentration-dependent manner.
Conclusion: These data suggest that APS lowers reproductive toxicity in PB-treated epileptic rats by regulating the reproductive hormones, FSH, LH and testosterone, and also by altering the concentration, motility, and morphology of sperm. Thus, APS has a potential treatment for minimizing the side effects of antiepileptic drugs.
Keywords: Astragalus polysaccharide, Reproductive toxicity, Phenobarbital, Epileptic rats