Indexed on: 03 Dec '14Published on: 03 Dec '14Published in: Biochimica et biophysica acta
In the present study, we sought to explore whether curcumin plays any beneficial role against STZ induced testicular abnormalities in diabetic rats, and if so, what possible mechanism it utilizes to provide protection. Exposure to STZ (50mg/kg body weight, i.p., once) reduced testis-to-body weight ratio, enhanced blood glucose level and intracellular ROS, altered testicular markers, diminished serum testosterone and impaired cellular redox balance. Administration of curcumin at a dose of 100mg/kg body weight for 8 weeks effectively normalized all the alterations. Curcumin also showed inhibitory effect on the elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and translocation of NFκB into the nucleus and promoted the activation of the transcription factor Nrf-2 to provide protection against oxidants. To protect cells from STZ-induced stress-mediated damage, curcumin acted on the key mediators of the apoptotic cell death such as JNK and p38. In addition, this active molecule upregulated Bcl-2 expression, blocked the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax, Bad and Bid), decreased intracellular Ca(2+) level, inhibited active caspase cascade and attenuated PARP cleavage. These results suggest that curcumin provides protection against cellular stress-mediated mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum-dependent apoptotic death of the testicular cells under diabetic condition and suggests the possibility of using this molecule as a potential therapeutic in the treatment of stress-mediated diabetic testicular dysfunction.