Tungstate administration improves the sexual and reproductive function in female rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes

J. Ballester, M. C. Muñoz, J. Domínguez, M. J. Palomo, M. Rivera, T. Rigau, J. J. Guinovart, Juan Enrique Rodríguez-Gil

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diabetes induces great alterations in female reproductive function. We analyzed the effects of tungstate, an anti-diabetic agent, on the reproductive function of healthy and diabetic female rats. Methods: Healthy and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were treated with sodium tungstate (2 mg/ml in their drinking water) for 12 weeks. Markers of reproductive function and diabetes were measured in serum, and in uterus and ovaries by Western blot or RT-PCR. Reproductive function was also assessed by mating. Results: Diabetic rats showed great impairment of libido, which was accompanied by a total loss of fertility (P < 0.05) and a decrease in the serum levels of FSH (P < 0.05) and LH (P < 0.05) compared with healthy rats. Tungstate treatment of diabetic rats partially recovered libido while fertility rate increased to 66.6%. This improvement was accompanied by a recovery of serum FSH (to a level higher than healthy rats) and LH. Moreover, tungstate treatment normalized ovarian expression of GLUT 3 hexose transporter, and estrogen, progesterone and FSH receptors, whereas only GLUT 3 and FSH receptors were normalized in the uterus. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the alterations in female reproduction in diabetes were partially reversed after tungstate treatment by a mechanism(s) involving the normalization of serum FSH and LH levels, and ovarian and uterine expression of FSH receptors and GLUT3. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2128-2135
JournalHuman Reproduction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Diabetes
  • Female rats
  • Reproductive function
  • Streptozotocin
  • Tungstate


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