Basma K Ramadan, Mona F Schaalan and Eman S Mahmoud
Background: Though the use of Azapress (Azathioprine) in cancers and autoimmune diseases has proved therapeutic effectiveness in numerous prospective clinical trials, some cases of testicular toxicity has been reported, that were referred to the evolved oxidative stress and inflammatory milieu. Taurine (TAU) is an amino acid found abundantly in brain, heart, and reproductive organ cells and with reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Objective: The aim of the work was to investigate the protective effects of Taurine against Azapress-induced testicular dysfunction in male albino rats and unravel the contributing mechanisms.
Material and methods: Forty adult male albino rats were allocated into four equal groups; (i) normal control rats (Control group), (ii) Azapress group (AZP, 1mg/day for four weeks); (iii) Taurine group(Tau; 100 mg/kg bw/day for 6 weeks), (iv) Taurine and AZP group).
Results: AZP caused alterations in sperm parameters, increased DNA damage, and sex hormones disturbance. Moreover, significant decreased levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities, and upregulated levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), as well as apoptotic markers; Bcl2 and caspase-9 expression it were evident in the testicular tissues. In contrast, taurine pretreatment significantly alleviated these toxic effects that were further evidenced histologically.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in AZP-induced destruction in the male reproductive system and that co-administration of taurine exerts a protective effect against AZP-induced male reproductive testicular atrophy. This could open new horizon to its usage as an add-on complementary approach to chemotherapy supportive care.