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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

The impact of electric fields on testis physiopathology, sperm parameters and DNA integrity-The role of resveratrol.

Published in: Andrologia 2018 [epub ahead of print]

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate effects of 50 Hz electric fields on physiology and morphology of rat testis and the potential helpful effect of resveratrol.
Background/further details: Resveratrol is a phytoalexin with antioxidant properties and is found, for example, in grapes.
In total, 32 rats were divided into four groups (n=8 per group): 1) control group, rats received 0.1 ml of physiological serum (maybe saline solution?) 2) electric field exposure + physiological serum 3) electric field exposure + resveratrol (20 mg per kg body weight per day) and 4) resveratrol.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuously for 23 hours/day for 30 days
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration continuously for 23 hours/day for 30 days
Exposure setup
Setup exposure system was built with parallel plates (2-mm-thick stainless chromium–nickel plate) with rounded edges to ensure field homogeneity; plates were placed at a distance of 65 cm across each other; animal cages were made of plastic not to disturb the electric field; cages were placed upright on a wooden base and in a parallel position; a cable was connected from the centre of the plate through the outer corner areas of the cage
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 10 kV/m - measured and calculated - ± 0.049 kV/m
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

In rats exposed to the electric field (group 2), the number of sperms and the sperm motility were significantly decreased while the DNA damage was significantly increased compared to the control group (group 1). However, this effect was abolished by the administration of resveratrol (group 3). Additionally, the level of oxidative stress was increased in electric field exposed rats compared to the control group as shown by a significantly increased level of malondialdehyde and significantly decreased enzyme activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. Again, an administration of resveratrol prevented these effects.
In the histological examination, several pathological changes were observed in the testes of electric field exposed rats (e.g., oedema in the interstitial tissue, separation of the basal lamina of the seminiferous tubules) which were not present in the control group. These pathological changes were also present in rats exposed to the electric field and administered resveratrol but in a milder condition. The number of apoptotic cells was significantly higher in the seminiferous tubules of electric field exposed rats and of electric field exposed rats which were administered resveratrol compared to the control group.
The body weight was significantly increased in electric field exposed rats compared to the control group, which was not the case in electric field exposed rats which were administered resveratrol.
No significant differences in the hormone levels were found between the electric field exposure and the control group.
The authors conclude that exposure of rats to a 50 Hz electric field could have harmful effects on the rats' testes and that the antioxidant resveratrol could diminish these effects.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), Turkey

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