Contrary to the traditional view, recent studies suggest that diabetes mellitus has an adverse influence on male reproductive function. Our aim was to determine the effect of diabetes on the testicular environment by identifying and then assessing perturbations in small molecule metabolites. Testes were obtained from control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL/6 mice, 2, 4 and 8 weeks post-treatment. Diabetic status was confirmed by glycated haemoglobin, non-fasting blood glucose, physiological condition and body weight. A novel extraction procedure was utilized to obtain protein free, low-molecular weight, water soluble extracts which were then assessed using H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Principal component analysis of the derived profiles was used to classify any variations, and specific metabolites were identified based on their spectral pattern. Characteristic metabolite profiles were identified for control and type 1 diabetic animals with the most distinctive being from mice with the largest physical deterioration and loss of body weight. Eight streptozotocin-treated animals did not develop diabetes and displayed profiles similar to controls. Diabetic mice had decreases in creatine, choline and carnitine and increases in lactate, alanine and myo-inositol. Betaine levels were found to be increased in the majority of diabetic mice but decreased in a few animals with severe loss of body weight and physical condition. The association between perturbations in a number of small molecule metabolites known to be influential in sperm function, with diabetic status and physiological condition, adds further impetus to the proposal that diabetes influences important spermatogenic pathways and mechanisms in a subtle and previously unrecognized manner.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine