Attenuation potentials of royal jelly against hydroxyurea-induced infertility through inhibiting oxidation and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in male rats

  • Hossam G. Tohamy
  • Dina R. Gad El-Karim
  • Yasser S. El-SayedEmail author
Research Article


Hydroxyurea (HDU), a class of antineoplastic drugs, has a powerful efficacy in the treatment of several types of malignancies. However, it has multiple adverse effects including reduced fertility, especially in males. Thus, 60 male albino rats were used to investigate the chemoprotective potentials of royal jelly on HDU-induced testicular damage. Animals were gastro-gavaged with HDU (225 or 450 mg kg−1 bw day−1) before royal jelly (100 mg kg−1 bw day−1) for 60 days. Blood samples and testicles were collected, and spermatozoon was obtained. In a dose-dependent manner, the sperm count, motility and liveability, and testosterone, GSH, and catalase concentrations were decreased in HDU groups, whereas MDA, FSH, LH, IL-6, and IFN-γ expression levels were increased. Germinal epithelium degeneration, germ cell sloughing, reduction in the number of luminal spermatozoa, interstitial congestion, and severe leukocyte infiltration besides no glandular secretion in most of the acini were identified. However, royal jelly intake in HDU-treated rats successfully improved sperm quality, hormonal and antioxidant status, and reproductive organ histoarchitecture. Thus, it could be concluded that royal jelly is endowed with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities and could be, therefore, used as an adjuvant remedy to improve HDU-induced male subfertility.


Hydroxyurea Royal jelly Male infertility Oxidative damage Cytokines Histopathology 



androgen receptor






reduced glutathione




hematoxylin and eosin






follicular stimulating hormone


luteinizing hormone




phosphate buffer saline


Royal jelly


reactive oxygen species


standard error of mean


Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineDamanhour UniversityDamanhourEgypt

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