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Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Jul;21(6):495-502. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2011.555789. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Effect of Punica granatum (pomegranate) on sperm production in male rats treated with lead acetate.

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Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy Alberto Cazorla Talleri, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.


The present study was designed to determine whether the treatment with an ethanolic extract of pomegranate (EEP) (Punica granatum) can be useful for the treatment of the deleterious effect of lead acetate (LA) administration on sperm production in rats. The effects of EEP were compared with those of ascorbic acid (AA) that is a strong antioxidant and has been shown to reverse lead-induced damage on the reproductive system. The rats were divided into five different groups: those received distilled water (control group), LA, LA with EEP, LA with AA, and EEP alone, respectively. LA administration inhibited spermatogenesis by reducing the length of the stages related to spermiation (VII and VIII) and onset of mitosis (IX-XI). LA-treated rats also showed a reduction in epididymal sperm number and daily sperm production (DSP). Administration of EEP or AA resulted in longer VIII and IX-XI stages when compared with LA-treated rats. Moreover, EEP and AA administration reduced the deleterious effect of LA on DSP and epididymal sperm number. EEP showed an antioxidant activity similar to that of AA. EEP prevented LA-induced spermatogenic disruption in rats and its antioxidant activity could explain its capacity to reverse the damage produced by LA on spermatogenesis.

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