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Keywords:

  • Astragalus membranaceus;
  • cyclophosphamide;
  • reproductive toxicity;
  • spermatogenesis;
  • cAMP-responsive element modulator

The root of Astragalus membranaceus BUNGE (AM) is a medicinal herb that has been capable of reducing the adverse effects of conventional chemotherapy. To investigate the effects of AM on cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced reproductive toxicity in mouse testes, 5-week-old male imprinting control region mice were divided into five groups; CP was treated on the first day of each week for 5 weeks (100 mg/kg, i.p.), and AM was treated for 5 days a week for 5 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, the testes were taken out, cleared of the adhering tissues, and weighed. Epididymis was taken out and used for sperm analysis. Testis samples were frozen for real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis. AM treatment increased diminished relative testes weight, and sperm count and motility in mice treated with CP. CP treatment has detrimental effects on the expression of cAMP-responsive element modulator (CREM), a transcription factor that is highly expressed in male germ cells and is crucial to post-meiotic germ cell differentiation. AM restored CREM at both the mRNA and protein levels. AM has beneficial influences and appears able to ameliorate relative testes weight, sperm parameters, and CREM expression against CP-induced reproductive toxicity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.