Highly active antiretroviral therapy alters sperm parameters and testicular antioxidant status in diet-induced obese rats

Oyeyipo, Ibukun P. ; Skosana, Bongekile T. ; Everson, Frans P. ; Strijdom, Hans ; Du Plessis, Stefan S. (2018)

CITATION: Oyeyipo, I. P., et al. 2018. Highly active antiretroviral therapy alters sperm parameters and testicular antioxidant status in diet-induced obese rats. Toxicological Research, 34(1):41-48, doi:10.5487/TR.2018.34.1.041.

The original publication is available at http://www.toxicolres.org

Article

The efficacy of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has led to an increase demand for therapeutic use, thereby necessitating investigation into drug toxicity. This study was designed to investigate the in vivo effects of HAART on sperm parameters and testicular oxidative stress in lean and obese rats. Wistar rats (males, n = 40, weighing 180~200 g) were assigned randomly into 4 groups and treated accordingly for 16 weeks as follows: Control (C): lean group fed with standard rat chow; Diet induced obesity (DIO): obese animals fed a high caloric diet; C + ART: lean animals treated with HAART; DIO + ART: obese animals treated with HAART. An antiretroviral drug combination of Tenofovir, Emtricitabine and Efavirenz at a dose of 17, 26 and 50 mg/kg/day was administered for the latter 6 weeks via jelly cube feeding. At the end of the experimental period, sperm analysis was performed on sperm collected from the caudal epididymis, while the testis was homogenized for antioxidant enzyme and lipid peroxidation assays. Results showed that HAART significantly decreased sperm motility (p < 0.05) in both lean and obese animals, and viability (p < 0.05) in the DIO group. Testicular glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase were significantly decreased (p < 0.05), while Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels were significantly increased (p < 0.05) when the DIO+ART group was compared to Control group. Thus, the decreased sperm qualities associated with HAART might be as a result of increased testicular oxidative stress prominent in obese animals.

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