Diabetes Mellitus (DM) has been found to have subtle yet profound effects on the metabolic status of the testis, the expression of numerous spermatogenic genes and is associated with increased numbers of sperm with nuclear DNA damage. The precise mechanism causing these detrimental effects remains unknown. The presence of increased levels of the most prominent member (carboxymethyllysine - CML) of the advanced glycation end product adducts and their receptor (RAGE) in the reproductive tract of DM men has provided a new avenue for research. As there are suspicions that the antibiotic (streptozotocin - STZ) employed to induce DM is also capable of causing oxidative stress and DNA damage, we compared CML and RAGE levels in the reproductive tract and sperm nDNA status of STZ mice with the levels in the Ins(2Akita) mouse to determine which more closely mimics the situation described in the human diabetic. CML was observed in the testes, epididymes and sperm of all animals. Sperm from DM mice showed particularly strong CML immunolocalization in the acrosomal cap, the equatorial region and whenever present, cytoplasmic droplets. Although increased, the level of CML on the sperm of the STZ and Ins(2Akita) DM mice did not reach statistical significance. RAGE was present on the developing acrosome and epididymal sperm of all animals and in discrete regions of the epididymes of the DM models. Only the epididymal sperm of the Ins(2Akita) mice were found to have significantly increased (p < 0.0001) nDNA damage. The Ins(2Akita) mouse therefore appears to more accurately reflect the conditions found in the human and, as such, is a more representative model for the study of diabetes and glycation's influence on male fertility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine