The Effects of Curcumin on Sperm Parameters and Nitric Oxide Production in Varicocelized Rats

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Melika Izadpanah; Rafieh Alizadeh; Mohammad Bagher Minaee; Leyla Heydari; Adebayo Babatunde & Mehdi Abbasi


One of the proposed mechanism by which varicocele induces its damage is excessive release of nitric oxide (NO). Several studies have shown the role of NO in poor sperm quality in infertile patients with varicocele. Scientific studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of curcumin on the sperm parameters. Curcumin as an atoxic antioxidant can reduce production of NO. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of curcumin on NO levels and investigate if curcumin can improve sperm parameters in varicocelized male rats. Thirty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 5 groups (V1 and V2 (varicocele), T (treatment), Sh (sham) and C was control). In groups V1, V2, T and Sh, the left renal vein was partially ligated to induce varicocele. In groups V1 and V2, sperm parameters and NO level were evaluated 8 and 16 weeks respectively after varicocele induction. Groups T and Sh received 100 mg/kg curcumin and placebo respectively, daily for 8 weeks after 2 months of induced varicocele. Sperm parameters (count, motility, viability and morphology), epididymis and testis weight and also NO concentration were measured. Sperm parameters (count, motility and viability) in groups V1, V2 and Sh were significantly low in comparison with control and treatment groups. The level of NO was significantly increased in serum of rats in groups V1 and V2, whereas group T rat serum in which curcumin was administered, showed decreased NO levels. The values of the epididymis and testis weight had no significant changes (P 0.05) in all groups. Administration of curcumin as a free radical scavenger, can decrease NO level and improve sperm parameters in varicocelized male rats.

KEY WORD: Varicocele; Curcumin; Sperm parameters; Rat.

How to cite this article

IZADPANAH, M.; ALIZADEH, R.; MINAEE, M. B.; HEYDARI, L.; BABATUNDE, A. & ABBASI, M. The effects of curcumin on sperm parameters and nitric oxide production in varicocelized rats. Int. J. Morphol., 33(4):1530-1535, 2015.