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Systemic arterial hypertension leads to decreased semen quality and alterations in the testicular microcirculation in rats.

Scientific reports (2019-08-01)
Lucas Giglio Colli, Larissa Berloffa Belardin, Cinthya Echem, Eliana Hiromi Akamine, Mariana Pereira Antoniassi, Rhayza Roberta Andretta, Lucas Solla Mathias, Stephen Fernandes de Paula Rodrigues, Ricardo Pimenta Bertolla, Maria Helena Catelli de Carvalho
ABSTRACT

Arterial hypertension is a cardiovascular disease that leads to important systemic alterations and drastically impairs normal organ function over time. Hypertension affects around 700 million men of reproductive age and hypertensive men present increased risk for reproductive disorders, such as erectile dysfunction. However, the link between arterial hypertension and male reproductive disorders is associative at best. Moreover, many studies have reported associations between decreased male fertility and/or semen quality and alterations to general male health. In this study we aim to investigate the effect of systemic high blood pressure in sperm quality, sperm functional characteristics and testicular physiology in a rat model. Hypertensive rats presented altered testicular morphology - mainly vascular alterations and impaired testicular vasomotion. Hypertensive rats also presented decrease in sperm concentration, DNA integrity and increased percentages of sperm with dysfunctional mitochondria, intracellular superoxide anion activity and abnormal morphology. This study provides mechanistic insights by which arterial hypertension affects the testes, evidencing the testes as another target organ for hypertension as well as its impact on sperm quality.