Flaxseed Can Reduce Hypoxia-Induced Damages in Rat Testes
Hypoxia causes detrimental effects on the structure and function of tissues through increased production of reactive oxygen species that are generated during the re-oxygenation phase of intermittent and continuous hypobaric hypoxia. This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of flaxseed (Fx) in reducing the incidence of hypoxia in rat testes.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, 24 adult Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: i. Control group (Co) that received normal levels of oxygen and food, ii. Sham group (Sh) that were placed in hypoxia chamber but received normal oxygen and food, iii. Hypoxia induction group (Hx) that were placed in hypoxia chamber and treated with normal food, iv. Hypoxia induction group (Hx+Fx) that were placed in hypoxia chamber and treated with 10% flaxseed food. Both the Hx and Hx+Fx groups were kept in a hypoxic chamber for 30 days; during this period rats were exposed to reduced pressure (oxygen 8% and nitrogen 92%) for 4 hours/day. Then, all animal were sacrificed and their testes were removed. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels were evaluated in the testis tissue. Tubular damages were examined using histological studies. Blood samples and sperm were collected to assess IL-18 level and measure sperms parameters, respectively. All data were analyzed using SPPSS-22 software. One way-ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis tests were performed for statistical analysis.
A significant difference was recorded in the testicular mass/body weight ratio in Hx and Hx+Fx groups in comparison to the control (P=0.003 and 0.027, respectively) and Sh (P=0.001 and 0.009, respectively) groups. The sperm count and motility in Hx+Fx group were significantly different from those of the Hx group (P=0.0001 and 0.028, respectively) .Also sperm viability (P=0.0001) and abnormality (P=0.0001) in Hx+Fx group were significantly different from Hx group.
This study therefore suggests that the oral administration of flaxseed can be useful for prevention from the detrimental effects of hypoxia on rat testes structure and sperm parameters.