Background: Diabetes mellitus has a variety of structural and functional effects on the male reproductive system. Diabetes results in reduced sperm parameters and libido. The present study aims to investigate the effects of royal jelly (RJ) on reproductive parameters of testosterone and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods: This experimental study was conducted on adult male Wistar rats. The animals were divided into four groups (n=8 per group): control, RJ, diabetic and diabetic treated with RJ. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 60 mg/kg body weight (BW) of streptozotocin (STZ). RJ, at a dose of 100 mg/kg BW was given by gavage. The duration of treatment was six weeks. After the treatment period the rats were sacrificed. The testes were weighed and changes in sperm count, motility, viability, deformity, DNA integrity and chromatin quality were analyzed. Serum testosterone and MDA concentrations of testicular tissue were determined. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA with p<0.05 as the significant level.
Results: STZ-induced diabetes decreased numerous reproductive parameters in rats. Testicular weight, sperm count, motility, viability and serum testosterone levels increased in the diabetic group treated with RJ. There was a significant decrease observed in sperm deformity, DNA integrity, chromatin quality, and tissue MDA levels in diabetic rats treat-ed with RJ compared to the diabetic group (p<0.05).
Conclusion: RJ improved reproductive parameters such as testicular weight, sperm count, viability, motility, deformity, DNA integrity, chromatin quality, serum testosterone and testicular tissue MDA levels in diabetic rats.