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Protective effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum) juice on testes against carbon tetrachloride intoxication in rats

Al-Olayan, Ebtesam M, El-Khadragy, Manal F, Metwally, Dina M, Abdel Moneim, Ahmed E
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2014 v.14 no.1 pp. 164
Leydig cells, Punica granatum, adults, albino, alternative medicine, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, blood serum, carbon tetrachloride, catalase, drinking water, enzyme activity, follicle-stimulating hormone, free radicals, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione transferase, glutathione-disulfide reductase, histopathology, lipid peroxidation, luteinizing hormone, males, medicine, nitric oxide, oxidative stress, poisoning, pomegranate juice, pomegranates, protective effect, rats, reproductive toxicology, spermatogenesis, superoxide dismutase, testosterone
BACKGROUND: Pomegranate fruit has been extensively used as a natural medicine in many cultures. The present study was aimed at evaluating the protective effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum) juice against carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄)-induced oxidative stress and testes injury in adult Wistar rats. METHODS: Twenty eight Wistar albino male rats were divided equally into 4 groups for the assessment of protective potential of pomegranate juice. Rats of group I (control) received only vehicles and had free access to food and water. Rats of groups II and IV were treated with CCl₄ (2 ml/kg bwt) via the intraperitoneal route once a week for ten weeks. The pomegranate juice was supplemented via drinking water 2 weeks before and concurrent with CCl₄ treatment to group IV. Group III was supplemented with pomegranate juice for twelve weeks. The protective effects of pomegranate on serum sex hormones, oxidative markers, activities of antioxidant enzymes and histopathology of testes were determined in CCl₄-induced reproductive toxicity in rats. RESULTS: Pomegranate juice showed significant elevation in testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) those depleted by the injection of CCl₄. Activity levels of endogenous testesticular antioxidant enzymes; superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione (GSH) contents were increased while lipid peroxidation (LPO) and nitric oxide (NO) were decreased with pomegranate juice. Moreover, degeneration of germ and Leydig cells along with deformities in spermatogenesis induced after CCl₄ injections were restored with the treatment of pomegranate juice. CONCLUSION: The results clearly demonstrated that pomegranate juice augments the antioxidant defense mechanism against carbon tetrachloride-induced reproductive toxicity and provides evidence that it may have a therapeutic role in free radical mediated diseases.