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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2015 Dec;85(5-6):311-321. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000244. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Supplementation of Diabetic Rats with Leucine, Zinc, and Chromium: Effects on Function and Histological Structure of Testes.

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1 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.
2 Institute of Animal Science, Physiology & Hygiene Unit, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.
4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Islamic Azad University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.


The objective was to study whether leucine, zinc, and chromium supplementations influence function and histological structure of testes in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Seventy seven adult male rats were categorized into 11 groups of 7 animals each: (1) nondiabetic (negative control); (2) non-treated (positive control); (3) treated with insulin; (4) treated with glibenclamide; (5) treated with leucine; (6) treated with zinc; (7) treated with chromium; (8) treated with leucine + zinc; (9) treated with leucine + chromium; (10) treated with zinc + chromium; (11) treated with leucine + zinc + chromium. In the non-treated group, hyperglycemia severely damaged testes morphology as well as the spermatogenic process. Diabetes induction decreased testicular length, height, width, volume, total number of epididymal sperm, and number of live sperm. Seminiferous tubules of diabetic rats showed a decrease in diameter of tubules and height of epithelium. Diabetes induction decreased the number of cells (spermatogonia, spermatocyte, spermatid, and Sertoli) in cross sections of seminiferous tubules. Administration of nutritional supplements to the diabetic rats improved testes morphology and reversed, although not completely, impairment of spermatogenesis. Treatment with nutritional supplements increased testicular length, height, width, and volume. All treatments increased the number of live sperm and the total number of epididymal sperm. Furthermore, nutritional supplements increased diameter of tubules, height of epithelium, and the number of cells in seminiferous tubules. These alleviating effects were more pronounced in animals treated with the leucine-zinc-chromium combination. The present results demonstrate beneficial effects of zinc, leucine, and chromium supplements to improve testes morphology and to restore spermatogenesis in type 2 diabetic rats.


Chromium; diabetes type 2; leucine; rat; reproductive system; zinc


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