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Korean J Fertil Steril. 2005 Dec;32(4):301-314. Korean. Original Article.
Kim JI , Park HJ , Park NC .
Busan Medical Center, Busan, Korea.
Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: Rebamipide is a propionic acid derivative that has an action of the inhibition of superoxide production and removal of hydroxyl radical with the sperm incubation and cryopreservation. In the present study, to investigate whether rebamipide is useful to treat male infertility and sterility, the author observed the antioxidative effects in patient with male infertility and also examined its absorption and distribution in rat genital organ. METHODS: To measure the distribution of rebamipide in reproductive organ in the rat, carbon indicated rebamipide, 14C-OPC-12759, was orally administered to 10 Spraque-Dawley rats and its organ concentration in serum, liver, kidney, stomach, duodenum, colon, urinary bladder, seminal vesicle, epididymis and testicle were measured each time after 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 24 hours by using HPLC fluorescent method. The concentrations in semen were measured by HPLC fluorescent method in a sample of 50 infertile males who took 900 mg of rebamipide daily for 3 months. To measure the antioxidative effect and fertility rate for 3 months, each month before and after the treatment, sperm motility, vitality, the oxygen free radical formation, level of peroxidation, fetilizing capacity of semen sample which were obtained from infertile male patients by masturbation after at least 48 hours abstinence were analyzed by computer assisted semen analyzer, eosin-nigrosin stain, chemiluminescence, thiobarbituric acid method and hypo-osmotic swelling test. Simultaneously in a sample that wanted baby, both pregnancy and delivery were researched. RESULTS: The 14C-OPC-12759 concentration in the body of white rats was highest in gastrointestinal organ like stomach, smal intestine and duodenum and followed by genital organ like seminal vesicle, testis and epididymis. The rebamipide concentration in semen of infertile males was 220.77+/-327.84 ng/mL (SD) which showed a large deviation but it was higher than serum which was 126+/-76 ng/mL (SD). In the infertile males, after the treatment with rebamipide, the level of seminal reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation have significantly decreased in duration of the treatment (p<0.05) and sperm vitality and fertilizing capacity except sperm motility significantly improved on post treatment of 2~3 months (p<0.05). Out of the 41 cases who hoped for pregnancy, 15 cases (36.6%) became pregnant and 12 cases had childbrith, 2 cases had miscarriage and one case is ongoing. The side effect was observed in 1 case (2%) which experienced diarrhea but it was lost spontaneously. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude from this study that rebamipide showed relatively high tendancy of absorption and excretion in the genital organ. In infertile males who had elevated ROS in semen, by specifically inhibiting the cell damage from the antioxidation, a way to preserve sperm motility, vitality and fertilizing capacity was confirmed.

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