The Protective Effect of Metformin against Oxandrolone-Induced Infertility in Male Rats

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Abdulqader Fadhil Abed, Yazun Bashir Jarrar*, Hamzeh J Al-Ameer, Wajdy Al-Awaida, Su-Jun Lee

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

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Background: Oxandrolone is a synthetic testosterone analogue that is widely used among bodybuilders and athletes. However, oxandrolone causes male infertility. Recently, it was found that metformin reduces the risk of infertility associated with diabetes mellitus.

Aim: This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of metformin against oxandrolone-induced infertility in male rats.

Methods: Rats continuously received one of four treatments (n=7) over 14 days: control DMSO administration, oxandrolone administration, metformin administration, or co-administration of oxandrolone and metformin. Doses were equivalent to those used for human treatment. Subsequently, testicular and blood samples were collected for morphological, biochemical, and histological examination. In addition, gene expression of the testosterone synthesizing enzyme CYP11A1 was analyzed in the testes using RT-PCR.

Results: Oxandrolone administration induced male infertility by significantly reducing relative weights of testes by 48%, sperm count by 82%, and serum testosterone levels by 96% (ANOVA, P value < 0.05). In addition, histological examination determined that oxandrolone caused spermatogenic arrest which was associated with 2-fold downregulation of testicular CYP11A1 gene expression. However, co-administration of metformin with oxandrolone significantly ameliorated toxicological alterations induced by oxandrolone exposure (ANOVA, P value < 0.05).

Conclusion: Metformin administration protected against oxandrolone-induced infertility in male rats. Further clinical studies are needed to confirm the protective effect of metformin against oxandrolone-induced infertility among athletes.

Keywords: CYP11A1, metformin, infertility, metformin, oxandrolone, rats, testes

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Article Details

Published on: 28 October, 2020
(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1381612826666201029101524
Price: $95

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