A potential protective mechanism of high-intensity interval training against tetracycline-induced hepatic steatosis and testicular apoptosis in male Wistar rat: A crosstalk between the liver and testis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Department of Biology, Yadegar-e-Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The presence of tetracycline in animal products has toxic and destructive effects on body tissues. In this study we investigate the potential protective mechanism of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) against tetracycline-induced hepatic steatosis (HS) and testicular apoptosis in male Wistar rat. In this study, forty-eight male Wistar rats (8-week, 220±10 gram) were randomly divaded into six groups of primary control (pre week one), primary HS (tetracycline-induced HS), secondary control (after week five), secondary HS, (5) HIIT, and HS+HIIT (after week five). Tetracycline was administered to rats 140 mg / kg for 7 days by gavage. HIIT was performed on rodent treadmill 5 days/week for 5 weeks.  Oral exposure of tetracycline for 7 days caused severe testis damage as indicated by significant alterations in histomorphological, apoptosis, increase Bax, P53 and decease Bcl2 (gene and protein, p=0.001) compared to primary control. But the changes of PARP1 were not significant (p>0.05). However, HIIT and HS+HIIT groups significantly increased spermatogonium counts, spermatocyte cell counts & spermatid cell counts (p=0.001 for all) in line with Bcl-2 and PARP1 (gene and protein, p=0.001) and decreasing apoptotic cells, Bax and p53 compared with secondary HS group (p=0.001). This research provides the first evidence that the beneficial anti-apoptosis effects of HIIT on testis of rats poisoned with tetracycline. This beneficial effect of HIIT on hepatic steatosis and testicular damage and toxicity due to tetracycline might be mediated by inhibiting P53-induced BAX upregulation and preventing apoptosis-mediated degradation of PARP-1.

What is already known on this subject?

Recent studies provide substantial evidence for an association between NAFLD and atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disorders (liver and heart crosstalk). Obesity, NAFLD and metabolic syndrome are inversely correlated with semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.


What this study adds?

It seems that high-intensity interval training can control apoptosis in testicular tissue by controlling tetracycline-induced liver damage, and this cross talk between liver and testis can be a therapeutic target in future studies.


Main Subjects





Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval This research was approved by the animal care and use committee at the Baqiyatallh University of Medical Sciences of Tehran, Iran (Approval reference number: IR.BMSU.REC.1396.632).

Informed consent Animal study.

Author contributions

Conceptualization: M.E.Z.; Methodology: F.R., M.E.Z.; Software: F.R., M.E.Z.; Validation: F.R., M.E.Z.; Formal analysis: F.R., M.E.Z.; Investigation: F.R., M.E.Z.; Resources: F.R., M.E.Z.; Data curation: F.R., M.E.Z.; Writing - original draft: F.R., M.E.Z.; Writing - review & editing: F.R., M.E.Z.; Visualization: F.R., M.E.Z.; Supervision: F.R..; Project administration: F.R., M.E.Z.; Funding acquisition: F.R.

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