Testicular hyperthermia can have negative effects on male fertility. Despite reported therapeutic benefits of curcumin, several factors often limit its application such as low water solubility and instable structure. Curcumin-loaded superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were designed to solve its limitation of use. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of curcumin-loaded SPIONs on transient testicular hyperthermia in mouse.
A total of 18 adult male NMRI mice were divided into three groups (n = 6): I. Controls (Cont), II. Scrotal hyperthermia (Hyp), III. Scrotal hyperthermia + curcumin-loaded iron particles (240 μL) (Hyp + Cur). After seventy days, the animals were sacrificed and used for further molecular and stereological evaluations.
Sperm count, motility and viability significantly decreased in group hyp as compared to cont group. Furthermore, Sperm DNA fragmentation and cell apoptosis in testes increased remarkably in group hyp, compared with group cont. Stereological study showed a reduction in number of spermatogenic and Leydig cells, as well as reduced weight and volume of testes in hyp group. Degenerative appearance of testes exposed to hyperthermia was also observed. In addition, higher mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines (IL1-α, IL6, and TNF-α) was detected in group hyp compared to cont group. However, curcumin-loaded SPIONs alleviated all of the pathologic changes in the Hyp + Cur group compared to the hyp group.
Here, we used nanoparticle form of curcumin in testicular hyperthermia model and showed its ameliorating effects on testes damages caused by heat stress, which can be an appropriate method to overcome the problems that limit curcumin application in cases with increased intra testicular temperature.

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