Voluntary exercise could reduce sperm malformations by improving hypothalamus-hypophysis-gonadal axis and kisspeptin/leptin signaling in type 2 diabetic rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences

2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of medical sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Medical Education research center, Tabriz University of Medical sciences, Tabriz, Iran

5 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

6 Stem Cell Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Objective(s): Most male patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) experience infertility. It is well established that regular physical activity could alleviate diabetic infertility symptoms. This study was designed to determine the effect of voluntary exercise on sperm malformation.  
Materials and Methods: Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into control (C), diabetic (D), voluntary exercise (Ex), and diabetic-voluntary exercise (D-Ex) groups. Diabetes was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg) followed by a high-fat diet for four weeks. Voluntary exercise was performed by placing the animals in the rotary wheel cages for ten weeks. Sperm malformations were analyzed. Moreover, the hypothalamic leptin, kisspeptin, kisspeptin receptors (KissR), as well as plasma LH, FSH, testosterone, and leptin levels were evaluated. 
Results: Results showed that induction of T2DM caused increased sperm malformation, plasma, and hypothalamic leptin as well as decreased hypothalamic kisspeptin, KissR, and plasma LH levels compared with the C group (P<0.001 to P<0.01). Voluntary exercise in the Ex group increased hypothalamic KissR, plasma FSH, LH, and testosterone levels compared with the C group; however, it decreased sperm malformation and hypothalamic leptin levels (P<0.001 to P<0.05). Voluntary exercise in the D-Ex group reduced sperm malformation, hypothalamic leptin, and plasma testosterone while elevated hypothalamic kisspeptin and KissR protein levels compared with the D group (P<0.001 to P<0.01). 
Conclusion: The results illustrated voluntary exercise reduces sperm malformations by improving the HHG axis and kisspeptin/leptin signaling in rats with T2DM. 


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