Introduction: An imbalance between the oxidative system and the antioxidant defense system leads to stress. So the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of vitamin C and atorvastatin on fertility in male rats subjected to experimental stress using the forced swimming stress model.
Materials and methods: Thirty adult male albino rats weighing 200–250 g and aged 10–12 weeks were used. Institutional Animal Ethics Committee approval was obtained. Rats were exposed to forced swimming stress daily and drugs were orally administered 30 minutes prior to the stress for a total of 15 days once daily. Group I: the nonstress group with distilled water (negative control); group II: positive control (only stress) plus distilled water; group III: stress + vitamin C (20 mg/kg/day); group IV: stress + atorvastatin (2 mg/kg/day); group V: stress + vitamin C (20 mg/kg/day) + atorvastatin (2 mg/kg/day). On the 16th day, the effect of drugs in stressed rats on body weight, testicular and epididymis weight, testicular index, sperm count, and motility was assessed.
Results: In stressed rats, sperm count, motility, testicular weight, epididymis weight, and testicular index were significantly reduced when compared with the control group. Groups III, IV, and V showed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in all five parameters when compared with the stress group.
Conclusion: The results suggest that vitamin C and atorvastatin significantly protected the harmful effect of stress on sperms.
Clinical significance: The pleiotropic antioxidant effect of statins is proven by this study and clinical trials can be done to evaluate the role of atorvastatin in treating male infertility.