Thymoquinone supplementation reverses lead-induced oxidative stress in adult rat testes

Aymen Mabrouk, Hassen Ben Cheikh
General Physiology and Biophysics 2015, 34 (1): 65-72
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the potential protective effect of thymoquinone (TQ), the major active ingredient of volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds, against Pb-induced testicular oxidative stress. Adult male rats were randomized into four groups: control group which received no treatment, Pb group was exposed to 2000 ppm Pb acetate in drinking water, Pb-TQ group was co-treated with Pb plus TQ (5 mg/kg b.w./day, p.o.) and TQ group receiving only TQ (5 mg/kg b.w./day, p.o.). All treatments were applied for 5 weeks. Pb treatment induced oxidative stress status in testes as evidenced by a significant decrease in the antioxidant enzymes activities such as superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, and in the reduced glutathione content and in a significant increase in the level of malondialdehyde. Interestingly, TQ supplementation completely reversed these biochemical changes caused by Pb to the control values. In conclusion, our results suggest, for the first time, that TQ is very efficient in preventing Pb-induced testicular oxidative stress. This study will open new perspectives for the clinical use of TQ in Pb intoxication.

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