Forskolin improves male reproductive complications caused by hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetic rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Stem Cell Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Background: In many diabetic patients, spermatogenesis complications are frequent and cause infertility problems. This study aimed to demonstrate the effect of Forskolin on male reproductive dysfunction caused by type 2 diabetes.

Materials and methods: In this study, type 2 diabetes was induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) for one month and then a low single dose injection (35 mg/kg) of Streptozotocin (STZ) in Wistar rats. After 72 hours, rats with more than 200 mg/dl of blood glucose were considered type 2 diabetic rats.

Forty rats (200-250 grams) were divided into four groups (n=10) including Group 1 (G1): rats with normal diet and buffer citrate (STZ Solvent) injection, Group 2 (G2): control type 2 diabetic rats with HFD and STZ injection, Group 3 (G3): type 2 diabetic rats received phosphate buffer saline (PBS) as Forskolin solvent, and Group 4 (G4): Forskolin treated diabetic rats (10 mg/kg) for 1 month.

Results: In comparison to control group, in diabetic groups (G2 & G3) some parameters are increased significantly: The blood glucose (p=0.00078), testicular MDA level and body weight (p = 0.00009) and Bax gene expression (p = 0.00007). Unlike, some parameters are decreased significantly: The serum level of testosterone (p = 0.0009), testicular SOD (p = 0.00007) and GPX levels (p = 0.00008), sperm concentration (p = 0.00008), motility (p = 0.00009), normal morphological sperm (p = 0.00008) and Bcl-2 gene expression (p = 0.00009). However, in Forskolin treated group (G4) the parameters stayed close to control values and was significantly (p = 0.00007) higher than in G2 & G3 groups. Therefore, treatment with Forskolin was significantly improved this abnormal changes in Forskolin-treated group.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that Forskolin is an effective antidiabetic agent, which significantly improves sperm concentration, testosterone levels, and antioxidant activity in diabetic rats.