Down regulation of CatSper1 channel in epididymal spermatozoa contributes to the pathogenesis of asthenozoospermia while up regulation of the channel by Sheng Jing San treatment improves…

Capsule:
In rats with cyclophosphamide-induced asthenozoospermia, CatSper1 and sperm motility were significantly reduced, whereas Sheng-Jing-San treatment restored the cyclophosphamide-induced down-regulation of CatSper1 and improved the sperm motility.

Authors:
Ya-Nan Wang, M.S., Bo Wang, M.S., Min Liang, Ph.D., Cai-Yan Han, M.S., Bin Zhang, B.S., Jie Cai, M.S., Wei Sun, B.S., Guo-Gang Xing, Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 2, Pages 579-587, February 2013

Abstract:

Objective:
To determine the expression of CatSper1 channel in epididymal spermatozoa in a rat model of cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced asthenozoospermia, and further examine effects of soluble granules of Sheng-Jing-San (SJS), a kind of traditional Chinese medicine recipe, on CatSper1 expression and sperm motility in CP-induced asthenozoospermic rats.

Design:
Placebo-controlled, randomized trial.

Setting:
Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, China.

Animal(s):
Sexually mature male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 60).

Intervention(s):
In the CP group, CP at the dose of 35 mg/kg intraperitoneally injected into rats once a day for 7 days; in the normal saline (NS) group, 0.9% saline solution was injected as control.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Sperm motility and count were evaluated by computer-assisted sperm assay (CASA); protein and mRNA expression of CatSper1 channel in epididymal spermatozoa was determined by Western blotting and quantitative real-time RT-PCR, respectively.

Result(s):
The rats were randomly divided into five groups with 12 rats in each group: CP, normal saline (NS), CP + SJS, CP + NS, and treatment naïve. In the CP + SJS group, after the last injection of CP, SJS at a dose of 30 mg/kg was intragastrically administrated to rats once a day for 14 days; in CP + NS group, saline solution instead of SJS was administrated as control. In the treatment naïve group, rats were normally fed for 21 days as controls. We found a statistically significant reduction of the CatSper1 channel, which is associated with an impairment of sperm motility in the epididymal spermatozoa of CP-induced asthenozoospermic rats. Soluble granules of SJS could dramatically restore the CP-induced down-regulation of CatSper1 in epididymal spermatozoa, which greatly improved the sperm motility in the asthenozoospermic rats.

Conclusion(s):
Downregulation of CatSper1 channel in epididymal spermatozoa likely contributes to the pathogenesis of asthenozoospermia, while up-regulation of the channel by SJS improves the sperm motility and therefore can be used as an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of male infertility diagnosed with asthenozoospermia.

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