About 7 % of men worldwide have problems to conceive, a situation that is related to 20-50 % cases of infertility. Besides, between 30-80 % of this affection has been related with oxidative stress, a factor that is also connected with genetic damage, such as microdeletions or DNA fragmentation. In this context, it is known that cadmium (Cd) produce health alterations related with its capacity to originate oxidative stress, and that beta-caryophyllene (BC) is a bicyclic sesquiterpene with beneficial activities such as genoprotection and antioxidation, mainly studied in somatic cells. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the protective capacity of BC on the genotoxicity and sperm quality damage induced by Cd. We used CD1 male mice organized in six groups with 5 individuals each, using the intragastric route for the administration. In the assay corn oil and BC was administered for 11 days. The groups were as follows: one group received corn oil, other received corn oil and at day 5 a single administration of Cd (3 mg/kg), the next group was administered BC (400 mg/kg), and three last groups were administered BC 20, 200, and 400 mg/kg as well as 3 mg/kg of Cd in the day 5. At day 11, sperms, spermatids, and testes were obtained to determine sperm quality, antigenotoxicity (comet assay and micronucleus test), and antioxidant of BC capacity (lipids and proteins). The obtained results showed no damage by BC in the indicated parameters, and protection with all doses of BC against the Cd damage, showing a better effect with the high dose. With such dose, a complete protection on sperm concentration and morphology damage was observed, in sperm motility and viability the protection was higher than 74 %. BC data with the comet assay showed a reduction of 92 % respect to the Cd effect, and in micronuclei the reduction obtained with BC reached 83 %. In sperm lipoperoxidation the protection by BC was complete, and regarding data of testicular lipid and protein oxidation the protection by BC was higher than 85 %. Histological damage was also improved by BC. Therefore, our study demonstrated a strong beneficial effect of BC over the damage induced by Cd, probably mediated by its antioxidant potential.
Dr. Beatriz A. Espinosa-Ahedo is a Biochemical Engineer by the Technological Institute of Ecatepec, MsC, and PhD by the National Polytechnic Institute (México). She has experience in the Genetics Department of the General Hospital of México. And also she has twelve years of experience in assisted reproduction in a Laboratory of Andrology. Her Research interest are genetics and reproductive toxicology.