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

Abstract

Reproductive toxicity is one of the side effects of cyclophosphamide (CP) in cancer treatment. Pumpkin seeds and Zingiber officinale are natural sources of antioxidants. We investigated the possible protective effect of combined pumpkin seed and Zingiber officinale extracts on sperm characteristics, epididymal histology and biochemical parameters of CP-treated rats. Male adult Wistar rats were divided randomly into six groups. Group 1, as a control, received an isotonic saline solution injection intraperitoneally (IP). Group 2 were injected IP with a single dose of CP (100 mg/kg) once. Groups 3 and 4 received CP plus 300 and 600 mg/kg combined pumpkin seed and Zingiber officinale extract (50:50). Groups 5 and 6 received only 300 and 600 mg/kg combined pumpkin seed and Zingiber officinale extract. Six weeks after treatment, sperm characteristics, histopathological changes and biochemical parameters were assessed. In CP-treated rats, motile spermatozoa were decreased, and abnormal or dead spermatozoa increased significantly (P < 0.001) but administration of the mixed extract improved sperm parameters. Epididymal epithelium and fibromascular thickness were also improved in extract-treated rats compared to control or CP groups. Biochemical analysis showed that the administration of combined extracts could increase the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) level significantly in groups 3, 4, 5 and 6. Interestingly, the mixed extract could decrease most of the side effects of CP such as vacuolization and separation of epididymal tissue. Our findings indicated that the combined extracts might be used as a protective agent against CP-induced reproductive toxicity.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported financially by the deputy of research in Kashan University of Medical Sciences and Kashan Anatomical Sciences Research Center (Grant No 9110). The authors gratefully acknowledge the kind cooperation of all staff in the Anatomical Sciences Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Science.

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Correspondence to Hossein Nikzad.

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Aghaie, S., Nikzad, H., Mahabadi, J.A. et al. Protective effect of combined pumpkin seed and ginger extracts on sperm characteristics, biochemical parameters and epididymal histology in adult male rats treated with cyclophosphamide. Anat Sci Int 91, 382–390 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12565-015-0314-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12565-015-0314-x

Keywords

  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Pumpkin seed and Zingiber officinale extract
  • Rat’s epididymis
  • Sperm parameters
  • Total antioxidant capacity (TAC)