The effects of metformin on stereological and ultrastructural features of the ovary in streptozotocin-induced diabetes adult rats: An experimental study


Background: Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect almost all of the body organs, including male and female reproductive systems.

Objective: This study was designed to investigate the preventive effects of metformin on stereological and ultrastructure characteristics of the ovary in the streptozotocin-induced diabetes adult female rats.

Materials and Methods: Seventy adult (8-10 wk) female Sprague-Dawley rats (180-200 gr) were equally divided, as follows: (n = 10/each) control; STZ-induced diabetes (single dose of 65 mg/kg STZ, IP); metformin-treated (50 mg/100 gr of body weight, orally); diabetic-metformin-treated; sham 1, (single dose of sodium citrate); sham 2, (0.5 ml of daily oral distilled water); and sham 3, (sodium citrate + distilled water treated). The body mass index, ovarian weight, blood sugar level, cholesterol, and triglyceride were measured. The stereological and ultrastructural features of ovary were assessed.

Results: The blood sugar of induced-diabetic rats was increased (p < 0.01). The BMI (p < 0.01), number of granulosa cells (p = 0.04), primordial, primary and secondary follicles (p = 0.03), total volume of ovary (p < 0.01) and cortex, nucleus diameter ratio to the ooplasm were decreased. The number of atretic follicles in the diabetic and diabetic + metformin-treated rats were increased (p < 0.01). The ultrastructural characteristics of ovary were more damaged in diabetic rats.

Conclusion: Diabetes has destructive effects on ovarian follicles and causes follicular atresia. Also, the size of oocytes, numbers of granulosa cells and ooplasmic organelles, which are involved in the folliculogenesis are affected by diabetes and metformin has no preventive effects.

Key words: Diabetes, Metformin, Ovary, Tissue.

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