Journal of ethnopharmacology

The effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on the male rats׳ reproductive system and spermatogenic cell apoptosis exposed to low-dose ionizing irradiation.

PMID 24746483


Lycium barbarum, a Solanaceous defoliated shrubbery, has been used as a kind of traditional Chinese herbal medicines for thousands of years. Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP) is the main bioactive component of Lycium barbarum. The aim of this study was to investigate the radioresistant effect of LBP on the damage of male rats' reproductive system and spermatogenic cells caused by low-dose (60)Co-γ irradiation. Male rats were randomly divided into 7 groups and treated with irradiation and/or LBP: normal control group, irradiation control group 1, irradiation control group 2, irradiation control group 3, LBP + irradiation group 1, LBP + irradiation group 2, and LBP + irradiation group 3. It is found that mating function and testis organ coefficient in LBP + irradiation groups were significantly better than that of the corresponding irradiation control groups. LBP significantly up-regulates the expression of Bcl-2 while down-regulating the expression of Bax. And LBP also plays an important role in prevention mitochondrial membrane potential decrease. In addition, LBP can significantly reduce spermatogenic cells apoptosis. LBP has obvious protective effect on the male rats' reproductive function and spermatogenic dysfunction induced by irradiation.