Protective effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum) juice on testes against carbon tetrachloride intoxication in rats

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Background: Pomegranate fruit has been extensively used as a natural medicine in many cultures. The present
study was aimed at evaluating the protective effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum) juice against carbon
tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced oxidative stress and testes injury in adult Wistar rats.
Methods: Twenty eight Wistar albino male rats were divided equally into 4 groups for the assessment of protective
potential of pomegranate juice. Rats of group I (control) received only vehicles and had free access to food and
water. Rats of groups II and IV were treated with CCl4 (2 ml/kg bwt) via the intraperitoneal route once a week for
ten weeks. The pomegranate juice was supplemented via drinking water 2 weeks before and concurrent with CCl4
treatment to group IV. Group III was supplemented with pomegranate juice for twelve weeks. The protective effects
of pomegranate on serum sex hormones, oxidative markers, activities of antioxidant enzymes and histopathology of
testes were determined in CCl4-induced reproductive toxicity in rats.
Results: Pomegranate juice showed significant elevation in testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle
stimulating hormone (FSH) those depleted by the injection of CCl4. Activity levels of endogenous testesticular antioxidant
enzymes; superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and
glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione (GSH) contents were increased while lipid peroxidation (LPO) and nitric oxide
(NO) were decreased with pomegranate juice. Moreover, degeneration of germ and Leydig cells along with deformities
in spermatogenesis induced after CCl4 injections were restored with the treatment of pomegranate juice.
Conclusion: The results clearly demonstrated that pomegranate juice augments the antioxidant defense mechanism
against carbon tetrachloride-induced reproductive toxicity and provides evidence that it may have a therapeutic role in
free radical mediated diseases.
Keywords: Punica granatum, Carbon tetrachloride, Oxidative stress, Testes, Rats

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