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Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 Jul;25(6):417-27. doi: 10.1177/0748233709106624.

Hesperidin attenuates benzo[alpha] pyrene-induced testicular toxicity in rats via regulation of oxidant/antioxidant balance.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.


Benzo[alpha]pyrene (BaP) is one of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which has shown carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic potentials. The reproductive toxicity of BaP in male was not well investigated. Thereby, we have addressed in the current study the testicular toxicity of BaP and the postulate whether or not the citrus flavonoid, hesperidin (HDN), could ameliorate such toxicity in male Swiss albino rats. In this sense, animals were challenged with BaP (50 mg/kg/day, orally) for 10 consecutive days. HDN (200 mg/kg/day, orally) was administered ahead of BaP challenge for 10 consecutive days. BaP induced testicular toxicity that was well characterized histologically and biochemically. It decreased the relative testis weight and induced pyknosis and necrobiotic changes as well as chromatolysis in the nuclei of the spermatocytes in the seminiferous tubules. It also markedly deteriorated epididymal function as shown by decreased sperm count, motility, and daily sperm production. The polyaromatic hydrocarbon also reduced the testicular activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-X), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Besides, it decreased the testicular reduced glutathione (GSH) but increased malondialdehyde (MDA) contents. Prior administration of HDN ahead of BaP challenge ameliorated all the histological and biochemical alterations induced by BaP. It improved the epididymal function and mitigated the injurious effects of BaP on the seminiferous tubules. In conclusion, HDN has proven protective effects in BaP-induced testicular toxicity paradigm, and this protection resides, at least in part, on its antioxidant properties.

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