Objective: To explore the mechanism of Yi Jing Tang improving sperm quality in oligozoospermia patients.
Methods: Mouse Leydig cells were divided into five groups: normal control, acrolein-induced oxidative stress (ACR) model control, and low-, medium- and high-dose YJP. The ACR model was established in the latter four groups with 100 μmol/L acrolein, and the mouse Leydig cells in the latter three groups were treated with the serum containing 5%, 10% and 20% YJP, respectively. After modeling, the viability of the cells and the contents of MDA, T-AOC and SOD were determined by CCK-8, and the relative expressions of PI3K/Akt/mTOR, Beclin-1, Bcl-2 and LC3-II detected by real-time PCR and Western blot. The results obtained were analyzed and compared among different groups.
Results: Compared with the normal control cells, the mouse Leydig cells in the ACR model control group showed a dramatically inhibited survival rate (54%), increased content of MDA, decreased levels of T-AOC and SOD (P < 0.01), down-regulated expressions of p-PI3K/p-Akt protein (P < 0.01), and Bcl-2 protein (P < 0.05) and Bcl-2 mRNA (P < 0.01), and up-regulated mRNA and protein expressions of Beclin-1 and LC3II (P < 0.01). After administration of YJP, all the above-mentioned parameters were reversed in different degrees and improved in a dose-dependent manner.
Conclusions: Yi Jing Tang acts against oxidative stress, mediates the regulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and autophagy and inhibition of the apoptosis of Leydig cells, and thus improves the sperm quality of oligozoospermia patients.