Effects of Endurance Training and Curcumin Supplementation on Sperm Count and Motility and Reproductive Hormones in Rats Exposed to Lead Acetate

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Sport physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.

2 Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Sport physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.


Introduction: Several studies have reported the positive effect of resistance exercise on reproductive tract, but the efficacy of aerobic training with and without curcumin supplementation, especially during simultaneous exposure to chronic contamination with lead, has not been studied. So this study was done aimed on investigating the effects of simultaneous and separate endurance training and curcumin antioxidant supplementation on normal sperm count, sperm motility and reproductive hormones in lead-exposed rats.
Methods: In this experimental study, 60 male Wistar rats were divided into six groups (10 rats/group): base, sham, lead, exercise-lead, curcumin-lead and exercise-curcumin-lead. Training protocol was performed for groups 3 and 6 include progressive running on a treadmill without incline for 8 weeks and 5 sessions in a week, with 15 to 22 meters per minute and duration 25 to 64 minutes. In addition, curcumin supplement was injected 30 mg per kg of body weight peritoneally 3 days per week and totally 8 weeks for groups 4 and 6, curcumin solvent for group 2 and 20 mg/kg lead for all groups (except groups 1 and 2). We assessed follicle stimulating, testosterone and LH hormones and also motility and morphological profile of sperm by standards methods. The testis and epididymal MDA were measured by TBARS method, respectively. After measurement of reproductive hormones, sperm motility and morphology were analyzed using ANOVA and SPSS software (version 13). P less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Lead induction caused non-significant reduction of testosterone (p=0.885), follicle stimulating hormone (p=0.128), luteinizing hormone (p=0.981), and non-significant increase in MDA of testis (p=0.095) and epididymis (p=0.15) compared to treatment groups. Lead injection caused non-significant reduction of sperm motility and normal sperm count in lead treated group compared to other groups (p=0.228, p=0.087, respectively). However, doing aerobic exercises and curcumin antioxidant inhibit harmful effects of lead exposure on these parameters.
Conclusion: Air pollution exposure has unfavorable effects on reproductive system, but regular aerobic exercises and antioxidant supplement are suitable guidelines to inhibit negative effects of pollutants but do not improve the quality and quantity of reproductive indicators.


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