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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2572073, 8 pages
Research Article

Enhanced Protective Effects of Combined Treatment with β-Carotene and Curcumin against Hyperthermic Spermatogenic Disorders in Mice

1College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Medical Center, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Republic of Korea
2College of Chinese Medicinal Materials, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin 130-118, China
3Asan Institute for Life Sciences, Asan Medical Center and University of Ulsan, Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea

Received 4 August 2016; Accepted 20 October 2016

Academic Editor: Taofeek O. Ajiboye

Copyright © 2016 Chunmei Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Scrotal hyperthermia leads to oxidative stress and apoptosis in spermatogenic cells, which subsequently causes male infertility. In this study, we examined the effects of β-carotene and/or curcumin on heat-stress- (HS-) induced testicular injuries in mice. ICR male mice (8 weeks old) were consecutively treated with β-carotene (10 mg/kg) and/or curcumin (20 mg/kg) orally once a day for 14 days and then subjected to single exposure with scrotal HS at 43°C for 15 min on day 7. HS induced a significant reduction in testicular weight, appearance of multinucleated giant cells, and desquamation of germ cells in destructive seminiferous tubules, as well as degenerative Leydig cells. Moreover, HS reduced the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and mRNA levels of mitochondrial SOD, phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase, B-cell lymphoma-extra-large, and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, with increases in lipid peroxidation levels and mRNA levels of BCL2-associated X protein and caspase-3 relative to those of the control group. However, these changes were significantly recovered by combined treatment with β-carotene and curcumin after HS. These findings indicate that the combined treatment with β-carotene and curcumin might be a valuable protective agent to ameliorate hyperthermic spermatogenic disorders via its potent antioxidative, antiapoptotic, and androgen synthetic effects.