Melatonin prevents dexamethasone-induced testicular oxidative stress and germ cell apoptosis in golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus.

PMID 25277062


This study investigated the protective effect of melatonin on dexamethasone (Dex), an extensively used anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive synthetic glucocorticoid, induced testicular oxidative stress and germ cell apoptosis in golden hamster. Hamsters were randomly divided into four groups (nxa0=xa07): group I - control; group II - melatonin treated (10xa0mgxa0kg(-1) xa0day(-1) ); group III - Dex treated (7xa0mgxa0kg(-1) xa0day(-1) ) and group IV - combination of Dex and melatonin. All the injections were administered intraperitoneally for seven consecutive days. The histopathological changes, specific biochemical markers, including antioxidative enzymes, plasma melatonin level and the markers for germ cell apoptosis were evaluated. Dex administration decreased antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, CAT, GSH-PX ), plasma melatonin level and melatonin receptor (MT1) expression with a concomitant increase in lipid peroxidation (TBARS) and altered testicular histopathology which might culminate into increased germ cell apoptosis as evident from increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and caspase-3 expression. However, melatonin pre-treatment enhanced enzyme activities for SOD, CAT, GSH-PX with a simultaneous decrease in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and caspase-3 expression. Our findings clearly suggest that melatonin improved defence against Dex-induced testicular oxidative stress and prevented germ cell apoptosis, suggesting a novel combination therapeutic approach for management of male reproductive health.