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Andrologia. 2014 Oct;46(8):927-35. doi: 10.1111/and.12175. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Protective effect of pumpkin seed extract on sperm characteristics, biochemical parameters and epididymal histology in adult male rats treated with cyclophosphamide.

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Anatomical Sciences Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Science, Kashan, Iran.


Cancer treatment with cyclophosphamide (CP) may result in reproductive toxicity as one of its side effects. The pumpkin seed is a rich natural source of antioxidant. We have assessed the possible protective efficacy of pumpkin seed extract on sperm characteristics, biochemical parameters and epididymal histology of CP-treated rats. Male adult Wistar rats were categorised into four groups. Group 1 served as control and received intraperitoneal (IP) injection of isotonic saline solution. Group 2 rats were treated with CP by IP injection in a single dose of 100 mg/kg body weight, only once. Group 3 and 4 received CP plus 300 and 600 mg/kg pumpkin seed extract respectively. Six weeks after treatment, sperm characteristics, biochemical parameters and histopathological changes were examined. Results showed that, sperm characteristics in CP-treated rats were significantly decreased. Biochemical analysis results showed that the co-administration of 300 mg pumpkin seed extract could increase the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) level significantly. In CP-treated rats, histopathological changes such as vacuolisation, disorganisation and separation of epididymal epithelium were observed as well. Interestingly, pumpkin seed extract could improve the above-mentioned parameters remarkably in CP-treated rats. Our findings indicated that pumpkin seed extract might be used as protective agent against CP-induced reproductive toxicity.


Cyclophosphamide; epididymis; pumpkin seed extract; sperm parameters; total antioxidant capacity

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