br Introduction Lycium barbarum also known
Introduction Lycium barbarum, also known as wolfberry, belongs to the plant family Solanaceae. Red-coloured fruits of L. barbarum are used as traditional Chinese herbal medicine to promote health and longevity and as a food supplement for thousands of years . They possess many biological activities and pharmacological functions and are used for the treatment of many diseases, including hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, hepatitis, thrombosis, cancer, male infertility, and hypoimmunity function [1,2]. L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) are the main active ingredients of L. barbarum. To date, five types of LBPs have been isolated and partially characterised in terms of structure [, , ]. LBPs consist of glucose, galactose, arabinose, mannose, rhamnose, and xylose . Therefore, LBPs are a mixture of several heteropolysaccharides. Many studies found several health-promoting activities of LBPs, such as antioxidant, immune regulation, anti-stress, anti-colon cancer, neuroprotective, and antidiabetic activities [, , , , ]. Moreover, LBPs stimulate the cytokine Benztropine mesylate of human monocytes , old laying hens  and dairy cows . Data are limited on the effect of LBPs on the cytokine level and sperm quality of mice with cyclophosphamide-induced impaired reproduction system.
Materials and methods
Results The effects of intragastric LBP administration on the sperm of Kunming mice are presented in Table 1. Intragastric cyclophosphamide administration decreased the density, movement and the rate of normal morphology of sperm of Kunming mice compared with those in the normal group but were significantly higher for the intragastric treatment of LBP groups than those in the model group (Table 1, p < 0.05). The effects of intragastric LBP administration on the cytokine levels are shown in Table 2. Intragastric cyclophosphamide treatment also decreased IL-2, IL-12 and TNF-α levels in mice compared with those in the normal control group (Table 2, p < 0.01). However, LBP treatment increased IL-2, IL-12 and TNF-α levels in mice compared with those in the model control group (Table 1, p < 0.01).
Discussion Cyclophosphamide can directly damage the spermatogenesis of testis [18,19], which is the vital organ that secrets testosterone and yields sperm. In this study, the intragastric treatment of LBPs increased the density, movement and the rate of normal morphology of sperm of Kunming mice with cyclophosphamide-induced impaired reproduction system. Similarly, Luo et al.  verified that LBP treatment protects the reproductive function of male rats, prevent spermatogenic cell apoptosis induced by low dose of local irradiation and enhance the self-repair of the testis. IL-12 increases the killing activity of NK cells and the expression of LAK in cell adhesion molecules, modulate the proliferation of lymphocytes and stimulate T and NK cells to produce interferon-γ . In the present study, LBP treatment increased the IL-12 level, which indicates that intragastric LBP administration could increase the activities of NK cells and the expression of LAK in cell adhesion molecules. IL-2 is a growth factor of T and B lymphocytes and an activating factor of TC lymphocyte and NK cells; IL-2 can stimulate the proliferation of LAK cells and inhibit tumour growth and metastasis [22,23]. LBPs can reduce the immunosuppressive ability of cyclophosphamide by stimulating the expression of IL-2 in mice. Hence, LBPs have potential significance in clinical tumour treatment. TNF-α can kill or inhibit some tumour cells both in vivo and in vitro. TNF-α can improve the killing activity of T cells and other immune cells over tumour cells in vivo, activate monocytes and macrophages, regulate the differentiation of different cells and promote the proliferation of T and B lymphocytes . At the same time, T cells, monocytes, macrophages and T and B lymphocytes have immunomodulatory activities. Therefore, intragastric LBP administration increased TNF-α, also indicating that LBPs exhibited potential immunomodulatory activity.