n Medical Technology SA - Red palm oil : a natural good samaritan for sperm apoptosis?

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-5528



Cumene hydroperoxide (cHP) and t-butyl hydroperoxide (tbHP) have been implicated in lipid peroxidation of sperm plasma membranes, DNA damage and apoptosis. This study aimed to investigate the in vivo effects of these hydroxides on rat sperm apoptosis, specifically caspase 3/7, and the possible protective effect offered by red palm oil (RPO). Rats (=54) were divided into three groups receiving either standard rat chow (SRC; =18), 2mL RPO (in 25g SRC/day; =18) and 4mL RPO (in 25g SRC/day; =18), respectively. Furthermore, each group was divided into three subgroups (=6). These subgroups consisted of rats injected with saline (control), 10µM cHP or 20µM tbHP. Rats fed with SRC and injected with 10µM of cHP or 20µM of tbHP showed a significant increase (P<0.05) in caspase 3/7 activity compared to the control group (injected with 0.5mL saline). On the other hand, animals fed with SRC in addition to 2mL or 4mL of RPO and injected with 10µM of cHP or 20µM of tbHP showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) in the production of caspase 3/7 activity compared to those fed with SRC only. It can be concluded that RPO possibly reduces caspase 3/7 activity, thereby, inhibiting apoptosis caused in rat sperm by the in vivo induction of hydroperoxide.

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