Effect of Low-Intensity Endurance Training and High-Intensity Interval Training on Sperm Quality in Male Rats with Fatty Liver

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Animal Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Nour Danesh Institute of Higher Education, Isfahan, Iran

3 Biology Department, Medical Biotechnology Research Center, Ashkezar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ashkezar, Yazd, Iran

4 Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran


Background: We aimed to investigate the effect of low-intensity endurance training (LIET) and high-intensity interval
training (HIIT) on sperm parameters, chromatin status, and oxidative stress in a rat model of non-alcoholic fatty
liver disease (NAFLD).

Materials and Methods: For this experimental study, we divided 40 male Wistar rats into four groups (control, sham,
HIIT and LIET) according to diet treatment and exercise training protocol. Liver triglycerides, sperm parameters,
sperm lipid peroxidation (BODIPY C11 probe) and chromatin status [chromomycin A3 (CMA3)], and acridine orange
[AO] staining) were assessed in these groups at the end of the study.

Results: The mean liver triglyceride values significantly improved in both the LIET and HIIT groups compared to
the control and sham groups. The mean of testicular volume, sperm concentration, motility, intensity of sperm lipid
peroxidation and DNA damage were similar within groups. While, the mean percentage of sperm lipid peroxidation
and protamine deficiency were significantly higher in the LIET and HIIT groups compared to the control group.

Conclusion: Both LIET and HIIT in the rat NAFLD model had no adverse effects on testicular morphometric parameters,
sperm concentration, motility, and DNA integrity. However, the mean sperm lipid peroxidation and protamine
deficiency were significantly higher in both exercise groups. Our study suggests that exercise or antioxidant supplementation
could minimise the adverse effects of oxidant by-products of exercise.


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