The effect of aminoguanidine on sperm motility and mitochondrial membrane potential in varicocelized rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 ENT and Head & Neck Research Center and Department, Hazrat Rasoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Emergency Sections, Vali-Asr Hospital, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Borujen, Iran

4 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

5 Department of Anatomy, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

7 American Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA


Objective(s): Increased levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the testicular veins of people suffering from varicocele have already been reported. However, the role of NO-synthase (NOS) isozymes and their inhibitors have not been extensively studied. We aimed to evaluate the inhibitory effects of aminoguanidine (AG), on sperm motility, vitality, and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in varicocelized rats.
Materials and Methods: Twenty fore male Wister rats were divided into control, sham, varicocele, and treatment groups. Varicocele and treatment groups underwent partial ligation of left renal vein. Rats in the sham group underwent the same procedures as the varicocele group with the exception of vein ligation. 10 weeks after varicocele induction, sperm parameters were evaluated in all groups. The treatment group received 50 mg/kg AG injection daily for 10 weeks after which they were sacrificed prior to assessment of the parameters. Sperm viability and MMP were assessed by flow cytometry using propidium iodide (PI) and rhodamine 123 (Rh123), respectively.
Results: The results of this study show a decrease in sperm viability, motility and MMP in the varicocele group compared with the other groups. After AG injection, we observed that all the parameters were significantly enhanced in the treatment group compared with the other groups. Rh123 staining revealed a positive relation between MMP and sperm motility, whereas PI staining showed a positive relation between sperm motility and viability.
Conclusion: The findings of our study show that AG improves sperm motility and MMP, and thus, might be useful in the management of varicocele-related infertility.


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