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Role of vitamins E and C in mitigating hypoxia- and exhaustive exercise-induced aberrant stem cell factor expression and impaired reproductive function in male Wistar rats

Author(s): Fahaid H. Al-Hashem

Journal: Saudi Medical Journal
ISSN 0379-5284

Volume: 34;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 354;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Objectives: To evaluate and compare the potential role of vitamins E and C in protecting against acute swimming induced reproductive function damage at different altitudes. Methods: The study was carried between October and November 2010. A total of 36 adult male Wistar rats weighing 250±5 g, and aged 8 weeks were used in this study, which was carried at the Physiology laboratory of King Khalid University in Abha City (high altitude area [HA]), and at the College of Science, King Saud University in Riyadh city (low altitude area [LA]), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The rats of each area were divided into 3 groups (n=6 each): control, acute exercise stress, and vitamins E and C pretreated stress. At the end of the study, oxidative stress, reproductive function, histopathology, and expression of stem cell factor (CSF) were examined in all rats. Results: Living under HA conditions decreased expression of SCF, sperm count, and serum levels of reproductive hormones, and significantly increased testicle tissue oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. Exhaustive exercise-induced stress at both altitudes resulted in similar results with more deteriorating effects in rats of HA compared with LA. Supplementation of vitamins E and C prior to stress induction at both altitudes prevented all these structural and functional aberrations from happening. Conclusion: High altitude or strenuous exercise, or both, may impair male reproductive function, while vitamins E and C in combination potentially mitigate these adverse effects. 
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