Effects of Crocin on Sperm Parameters and Seminiferous Tubules in Diabetic Rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Medical School, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran


Background: Diabetes can increase the generation of free radicals and can be harmfully effective in spermatogenesis. Crocin is a carotenoid and is accountable for the red color of saffron. Crocin has shown numerous pharmacological actions such as antioxidant roles and radical scavenging. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of crocin on sperm parameters and the diameter of seminiferous tubules in diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, diabetic rats were induced by Streptozotocin (STZ) (60 mg/kg). Sixty-four rats were equally divided into the following eight groups; (1) normal control group, (2–4) crocin groups, receiving various doses of crocin (12.5, 25, and 50 mg/kg), (5) diabetic control group, and (6–8) diabetic groups, receiving STZ plus crocin (12.5, 25, and 50 mg/kg) injected intraperitoneally once a day for 28 consecutive days. The sperm count, motility, morphology, viability, spermatogenesis index (SI), and the diameter of seminiferous tubules were examined and compared. Results: The results demonstrated that count, motility, viability, normal sperm morphology, SI, and the diameter of seminiferous tubules decreased significantly in the diabetic control group compared to the normal control group (P < 0.05). However, in the diabetic groups, count, motility, normal morphology, viability, SI, and the diameter of seminiferous tubules enhanced significantly in total doses compared to those of the diabetic control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: It seems that, as a strong antioxidant, crocin could compensate for the toxicity induced through STZ and raise the quality of some sperm parameters


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