Optimizing a male reproductive aging mouse model by D-galactose injection

Chun Hou Liao, Bing Huei Chen, Han Sun Chiang, Chiu Wei Chen, Mei Feng Chen, Chih Chun Ke, Ya Yun Wang, Wei Ning Lin, Chi Chung Wang, Ying Hung Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

47 Scopus citations


The D-galactose (D-gal)-injected animal model, which is typically established by administering consecutive subcutaneous D-gal injections to animals for approximately six or eight weeks, has been frequently used for aging research. In addition, this animal model has been demonstrated to accelerate aging in the brain, kidneys, liver and blood cells. However, studies on aging in male reproductive organs that have used this animal model remain few. Therefore, the current study aimed to optimize a model of male reproductive aging by administering D-gal injections to male mice and to determine the possible mechanism expediting senescence processes during spermatogenesis. In this study, C57Bl/6 mice were randomized into five groups (each containing 8–10 mice according to the daily intraperitoneal injection of vehicle control or 100 or 200 mg/kg dosages of D-gal for a period of six or eight weeks). First, mice subjected to D-gal injections for six or eight weeks demonstrated considerably decreased superoxide dismutase activity in the serum and testis lysates compared to those in the control group. The lipid peroxidation in testis also increased in the D-gal-injected groups. Furthermore, the D-gal-injected groups exhibited a decreased ratio of testis weight/body weight and sperm count compared to the control group. The percentages of both immotile sperm and abnormal sperm increased considerably in the D-gal-injected groups compared to those of the control group. To determine the genes influenced by the D-gal injection during murine spermatogenesis, a c-DNA microarray was conducted to compare testicular RNA samples between the treated groups and the control group. The D-gal-injected groups exhibited RNA transcripts of nine spermatogenesis-related genes (Cycl2, Hk1, Pltp, Utp3, Cabyr, Zpbp2, Speer2, Csnka2ip and Katnb1) that were up- or down-regulated by at least two-fold compared to the control group. Several of these genes are critical for forming sperm-head morphologies or maintaining nuclear integration (e.g., cylicin, basic protein of sperm head cytoskeleton 2 (Cylc2), casein kinase 2, alpha prime interacting protein (Csnka2ip) and katanin p80 (WD40-containing) subunit B1 (Katnb1)). These results indicate that D-gal-injected mice are suitable for investigating male reproductive aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 01 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Aging
  • Male infertility
  • Mouse model


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