Male fertility and sperm quality are negatively affected by psychological stress. Chronic restraint stress (CRS) is a common psychological stress that has a negative effect on sperm. Betaine (BET), an active ingredient isolated from Lycium barbarum, has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and other pharmacological activities. This study aims to explore whether betaine has a therapeutic effect on sperm deformity and vitality under CRS and its mechanism.
Chronic restraint stress was induced in 8-week-old male C57BL/6 J mice by fixation for 6 h a day for 35 days. Mice were intraperitoneally injected with betaine (BET) or normal saline (NS) for 14 days. Thirty-five days later, the animals were sacrificed. The results showed that the detrimental effects of CRS on testes as evident by disrupted histoarchitecture, increased oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis that compromised male fertility. BET injections can reverse these symptoms.
BET can improve spermatogenesis dysfunction caused by CRS, which may provide potential dietary guidance.

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