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Open Access Research article

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

Ebtesam M Al-Olayan1, Manal F El-Khadragy12, Dina M Metwally13 and Ahmed E Abdel Moneim24*

Author Affiliations

1 Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA

2 Zoology & Entomology Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt

3 Parasitology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

4 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Asturias Institute of Biotechnology, University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:164  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-164

Published: 22 May 2014

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
Punica granatum; Carbon tetrachloride; Oxidative stress; Testes; Rats