Prague Med. Rep. 2013, 114, 92-102

Curcumin Protects Metronidazole and X-ray Induced Cytotoxicity and Oxidative Stress in Male Germ Cells in Mice

S. Singh1, L. Das Roy1,2, Sarbani Giri1,*

1Department of Life Science and Bioinformatics,  Assam University, Silchar, India
2Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, USA

Metronidazole (MTZ) is a common antiparasitic and antibacterial drug. The drug and X-ray induced effects in mouse sperm count, sperm head abnormality and some oxidative stress parameters have been studied. Simultaneously the protective role of curcumin has been evaluated. MTZ, 40 mg/kg bw and 13.4 mg/kg bw × 3 days exposure induced abnormal sperm head and reduced total sperm count in Swiss albino mice both after 24 h and 35 days of exposure. However, MTZ treatment in mice receiving X-ray irradiation (0.5 Gy) did not changed the incidence of abnormal sperm population or decrease in the total sperm count. Hepatic glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) declined significantly during the treatment phase with significant rise in lipid peroxidation of the tissue. The cellular changes were estimated by using lipid peroxidative indices like thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Elevated  TBARS is indicative of oxidative stress in treated mice. Furthermore, curcumin pre-treatment apparently reduced the frequency of sperm head abnormality and  TBARS induced by MTZ alone or in combination with X-ray and increased the levels of hepatic GSH and SOD. The additive effects of MTZ and X-ray could not be observed with regards to sperm head abnormality and total sperm count in the tested dose range although the cellular antioxidants were found to be significantly lowered and lipid peroxidantion increased. The possible role of MTZ and X-ray inducing sperm abnormality, decreased sperm count and alteration in GSH, SOD and TBARS and defensive role of curcumin have been evaluated.


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