Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Obesity (2014) Proc Physiol Soc 32, PC016

Poster Communications

Curcumin (a polyphenolic extract of Turmeric) alters oxidative stress and acrosomal reaction in rat spermatozoa

B. O. Iranloye1, O. J. Uweru1

1. Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.


Curcumin (CUM), a food additive with international numbering code E100, sold as an over-the-counter supplement worldwide has been shown to exhibit therapeutic potential against some chronic illnesses in which inflammation and free radicals are known to play crucial roles such as Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, testicular damage etc (Aggarwal and Harikumar 2009). However, the effect of Curcumin on normal reproductive tissues has not been sufficiently studied. Therefore, the effect of Curcumin on oxidative balance and acrosomal reaction in rat spermatozoa was studied. Curcumin was extracted from turmeric rhizomes (voucher number LUH 5695) by the method described by Liu et al 2008. A concentration of 48mg/ml CUM was prepared for use in the study. Twenty adult male rats were randomly divided into four equal groups. The control group received distilled water; while other groups received 50mg/kg CUM, 100mg/kg of CUM and 150 mg/kg CUM intra-peritoneally (0.2 -0.6mls). The animals were all treated with CUM once daily for fourteen days after which they were sacrificed by cervical dislocation. For sperm collection the testicles and the epididymis were exposed through a lower abdominal incision. The right and left caputs of epididymis were quickly excised from the body of the testes cut longitudinally with a pair of fine-pointed scissors and compressed with forceps to release the sperm cells. Sperm cells from the caput epididymis were finely minced with normal saline in a Petri dish to liquefy and provide migration of all spermatozoa from the epididymal tissue to the fluid ( Morakinyo et al 2010). Lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), reduced glutathione and acrosomal reaction were determined in the sperm. Calcium ion concentration was also determined in the semen using colometric method as described by Bernett et al. (1973). All the concentration of CUM (50mg/kg, 100mg/kg and 150mg/kg) significantly increased (P < 0.05) antioxidant activities of CAT (108±6.76, 156±18.2 and 109±7.83 respectively compared with the control (27.2±0.38) and SOD (11.5±1. 95, 30.6±4.31and 19.3±3.99 respectively compared with the control 5.27±0.35) in the epididymal sperm. The percentage value for acrosomal reaction was also significantly increased (P<0.05) in 100mg/kg (61.25±1.25%) and 150 mg/kg (72.50±1.44%) CUM treated rat when compared with the control (43.00±0.58 %). Lipid peroxidation was also significantly increased in all CUM treated rats. The three concentrations of CUM produced an insignificant decrease in calcium concentration in the semen. This study showed that curcumin increase lipid peroxidation and also increases antioxidant enzymes. The activities of the antioxidant might have been more than the peroxidation thus the observed enhancement of acrosomal reaction.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements