Ascorbic acid supplementation ameliorates testicular hormonal signaling, sperm production and oxidative stress in male rats exposed to rosuvastatin during pre-puberty
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Dyslipidemias are occurring earlier in the population due to the augmentation of obesity. Rosuvastatin reduces cholesterol and triglycerides; however, previous studies have shown that it may affect male reproduction. Ascorbic acid (AA), an antioxidant compound, plays a protective role in the male reproductive system. This study aimed to evaluate whether pre-pubertal exposure to rosuvastatin may impair testicular structure and antioxidant status in male rats and if supplementation with AA may alleviate these damages. Male rats were randomly divided into six experimental groups (n = 10) on postnatal day (PND) 23 and received the different treatments by gavage from PND 23 to 53. The experimental groups received vehicle (saline solution 0.9%), 3 or 10 mg/kg/day of rosuvastatin diluted in saline solution 0.9%, supplementation with 150 mg/day of AA, 3 mg/kg/day of rosuvastatin in association with 150 mg/day of AA or 10 mg/kg/day of rosuvastatin associated with 150 mg/day of AA. Testicular parameters were assessed on PND 53 and 110. There were diminished androgen receptors staining in the Sertoli cells and increased germ cell death in rosuvastatin-exposed groups, in both periods. Spermatids showed lower estrogen alpha-receptors staining in the group exposed to 10 mg of statin at adulthood. There were androgen depletion and increased lipid peroxidation and catalase activity in statin-exposed groups. Rosuvastatin exposure during pre-puberty impaired testicular structure, steroid receptor distribution and increased oxidative stress; however, AA was able to ameliorate the impairment provoked by statin exposure.