Protective effect of alpha-lipoic acid and omega-3 fatty acids against cyclophosphamide-induced ovarian toxicity in rats.
Vet World. 2020 Jan ;13(1):188-196. Epub 2020 Jan 27. PMID: 32158171
Dhanya Venugopalan Nair
Background and Aim: Cyclophosphamide therapy is known to be associated with the risk of female infertility as a result of ovarian toxicity. Alpha-lipoic acid (LA) and omega-3 fatty acids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The present study investigated the potential protective effect of alpha-LA, omega-3 fatty acids, and its combination against cyclophosphamide-induced ovarian toxicity in rats.
Materials and Methods: Thirty rats were equally divided into Groups I, II, III, IV, and V. Group I was normal control, wherein the rats were fed with normal feed and water. Group II served as cyclophosphamide-induced group, wherein the rats were injected with cyclophosphamide at 75 mg/kg through intraperitoneal route once a week to induce ovarian toxicity. Groups III and IV were treated with alpha-LA at the rate of 25 mg/kg and omega-3 fatty acids at the rate of 400 mg/kg, respectively, in parallel to cyclophosphamide induction as in Group II. Group V animals were coadministered with alpha-LA (25 mg/kg) and omega-3 fatty acids (400 mg/kg) along with cyclophosphamide induction as in Group II. The respective treatments were administered daily through oral route for a period of 30 days. Regularity of estrous cycle was evaluated by vaginal cytology. Post-treatment period, the animals were humanely sacrificed, and the blood samples were subjected to the estimation of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen. The ovarian tissue was weighed and subjected to histopathology, transmission electron microscopy, estimation of decreased glutathione (GSH), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.
Results: Rats treated with cyclophosphamide alone manifested irregularity in estrous cycle, increased FSH, and reduced estrogen levels. The ovaries showed decreased GSH and increased TNF-alpha concentrations. Histopathological and transmission electron microscopic analysis of the ovarian follicles revealed degenerative changes. Administration of alpha-LA and omega-3 fatty acids as well as the combination of both the treatments demonstrated significant normalization of the estrous cycle and antioxidant defense mechanism as well as ameliorated the hormonal profile and histological architecture of the ovarian follicles. However, appreciable synergistic efficacy of the combination therapy (alpha-LA+omega-3 fatty acids) with respect to the monotherapies was not observed in the present study.
Conclusion: The efficacy of alpha-LA and omega-3 fatty acids against cyclophosphamide-induced ovarian toxicity could be attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that prevented the oxidative damage to the ovaries caused by cyclophosphamide. Hence, our findings suggest that dietary supplementation of alpha-LA and omega-3 fatty acids in women receiving cyclophosphamide therapy could carry potential benefits in preventing cyclophosphamide-induced infertility in childbearing women.