Protective effect of curcumin on lead acetate-induced testicular toxicity in Wistar rats

Sri Agus Sudjarwo, Giftania Wardani Sudjarwo, Koerniasari Koerniasari


In recent years, the use of the antioxidant in reducing heavy metal toxicities has increased worldwide. Curcumin has been reported to have a strong antioxidant activity. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of curcumin on lead acetate-induced testicular damage in rats. The sample used 40 male rats divided into 5 groups: negative control (rats were given daily with corn oil); positive control (rats were given daily with lead acetate 50 mg/kg BW orally once in a day for 35 days); and the treatment group (rats were given the curcumin 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg/kg BW orally once in a day for 40 days, and on the 5th day, were given lead acetate 50 mg/kg BW one h after the curcumin administration). After 40 days, levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in testicular tissue, and sperm count, motility and viability in the epididymis were measured in rats. Testis samples were also collected for histopathological studies. Results showed that lead acetate administration significantly decreased the SOD, GPx, and increased MDA levels. Lead acetate also decreased the sperm count, motility, viability, and altered histopathological testis (testicular damage, necrosis of seminiferous tubules and loss of spermatid) compared to the negative control. However, administration of curcumin significantly improved the histopathological in testis, increased the sperm count, motility, viability, and also significantly increased the SOD, GPx, and decreased MDA in testis of lead acetate-treated rats. From the results of this study we concluded that the curcumin could be a potent natural product provide a promising protective effect against lead acetate induced testicular toxicity in rats.


Curcumin; Antioxidant; Lead acetate; Testis

Full Text:



Flora G, Gupta D, Tiwari A. Toxicity of lead: A review with recent updates. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2012;5(2):47-58.

Ani M, Moshtaghi AA, Aghadavood M. Protective effects of selenium and zinc on the brain acetyl cholinesterase activity in lead intoxified rat. Res Pharm Sci. 2006;2:80-84.

Vaziri ND, Gonick HC. Cardiovascular effects of lead exposure. Indian J Med Res. 2008;128(4):426-435.

Sudjarwo SA, Koerniasari. Protective effects of ethanol extract of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) pericarp against lead acetate-induced nephrotoxicity in mice. Global J Pharmacol. 2015;9(4):385-391.

Koerniasari, Setiawan, Ngadino, Rustanti IEW, Sudjarwo SA. Protective effect of ethanol extract of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) pericarp against lead acetate induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Int J Curr Res. 2015;7(2):12518-12522.

Adhikari N, Sinha N, Narayan R, Saxena DK. Lead-induced cell death in testes of young rats. J Appl Toxicol. 2001;21(4):275-277.

Owolabi JO, Ghazal OK, Williams FE, Ayodele EO. Effect of Moringa oleifera (Drumstick) leaf extracts on lead induced testicular toxicity in adult Wistar rat (Rattus novergicus). Int J Biotech Biomed Res. 2012;2(12):4003-4009.

Patrick L. Lead toxicity part II: the role of free radical damage and the use of antioxidants in the pathology and treatment of lead toxicity. Altern Med Rev. 2006;11(2):114-127.

Asadpour R, Shahbazfar AA, Kianifard D, Azari M, Zaboli N. Comparison of the protective effects of garlic (Allium sativum L) extract, vitamin E and N acetyl cystein on testis structure and sperm quality in rats treated with lead acetate. Revue Med Vet. 2013;164(1):27-41.

Ayinde OC, Ogunnowo S, Ogedegbe RA. Influence of Vitamin C and Vitamin E on testicular zinc content and testicular toxicity in lead exposed albino rats. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;13:17-25.

Adibmoradi M, Morovvati H, Moradi HR, Sheybani MT, Amoli JS, Mazaheri Nezhad Fard R, et al. Protective effects of wheat sprout on testicular toxicity in male rats exposed to lead. Reprod Syst Sex Disord. 2015;4(4):1-9.

Agarwal R, Goel SK, Behari JR. Detoxification and antioxidant effects of curcumin in rats experimentally exposed to mercury. J Appl Toxicol. 2010;30(5):457-468.

Elsayed ASI. The curcumin as antioxidant natural herb, with emphasize on its effects against some disease. Inter J Appl Biol Pharm Tech. 2016;7(1):26-40.

Abd El-Latief HM. Protective effect of quercetin and or zinc against lead toxicity on rat testes. Global J Pharmacol. 2015;9(4):366-376.

Chen L, Yang X, Jiao H, Zhao B. Tea catechins protect against lead-induced cytotoxicity, lipid peroxidation, and membrane fluidity in HepG2 Cells. Toxicol Sci. 2002;69(1):149-156.

Aslani MR, Najarnezhad V, Mohri M, Azad M. The effect of allicin on blood and tissue lead content in mice. Comp Clin Pathol. 2011;20(2):121–125.

Sudjarwo SA, Sudjarwo KE, Sudjarwo GW, Koerniasari. Mechanisms of endothelial cell protection by curcumin in hypercholesterolemia. J Appl Pharm Sci. 2011;1(10):32-35.

Zorofchian Moghadamtousi S, Abdul Kadir H, Hassandarvish P, Tajik H, Abubakar S, Zandi K. A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin. BioMed Res Int. 2014, Article ID 186864.

Perrone D, Ardito F, Giannatempo G, Dioguardi M, Troiano G, Lo Russo L, et al. Biological and therapeutic activities, and anticancer properties of curcumin. Exp Ther Med. 2015;10(5):1615-1623.

Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009;14(2):141-153.

Batra N, Nehru B, Bansal MP. The effect of zinc supplementation on the effects of lead on the rat testis. Reprod Toxicol. 1998;12(5):535-540.

Tarasub N, Tarasub C, Na Ayutthaya WD. Protective role of curcumin on cadmium-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. J Environ Chem Ecotoxicol. 2011;3(2):17-24.

Raji Y, Salman TM, Akinsomisoye OS. Reproductive functions in male rats treated with methanolic extract of Alstonia boonei stem bark. African J Biomed Res. 2005;8:105-111.

Kheradmand A, Alirezaei M, Asadian P, Rafiei Alavi E, Joorabi S. Antioxidant enzyme activity and MDA level in the rat testis following chronic administration of ghrelin. Andrologia. 2009;41(6):335-340.

Rasyidah TI, Suhana S, Nur-Hidayah H, Kaswandi MA, Noah RM. Evaluation of antioxidant activity of Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) on formalin-induced testicular toxicity in rats. J Med Bioeng. 2014;3(3):149-153.

Unlücerci Y, Bekpinar S, Kocak H. Testis glutathione peroxidase and phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase activities in aminoguanidine-treated diabetic rats. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2000;379(2):217-220.

Sakr SA, Mahran HA, El-Deeb MM. Ameliorative effect of curcumin on fluoxetine-induced reproductive toxicity and oxidative stress in male albino rats. Oxid Antioxid Med Sci. 2013;2(1): 29-35.

Dorostghoal M, Seyyednejad SM, Jabari A. Protective effects of Fumaria parviflora L. on lead-induced testicular toxicity in male rats. Andrologia. 2014;46(6):437-446.

Shan G, Tang T, Zhang X. The protective effect of ascorbic acid and thiamine supplementation against damage caused by lead in the testes of mice. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2009;29(1):68-72.

Chandra AK, Chatterjee A, Ghosh R, Sarkar M. Effect of curcumin on chromium-induced oxidative damage in male reproductive system. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007;24(2):160–166.

Patrick L. Lead toxicity part II: the role of free radical damage and the use of antioxidants in the pathology and treatment of lead toxicity. Altern Med Rev. 2006;11(2):114-127.

Ayinde OC, Ogunnowo S, Ogedegbe RA. Influence of vitamin C and vitamin E on testicular zinc content and testicular toxicity in lead exposed albino rats. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;13:17-25.

Tariq SA. Role of ascorbic acid in scavenging free radicals and lead toxicity from biosystems. Mol Biotechnol. 2007;37(1):62-65.

Singh P, Deora k, Sankhla v, Mogra p. Curcumin rendered protection against cadmium chloride induced testicular damage in Swiss albino mice. J Cell Mol Biol. 2012;10(2):31-38.

Soliman MM, Baiomy AA, Yassin MH. Molecular and histopathological study on the ameliorative effects of curcumin against lead acetate-induced hepatoxicity and nephrototoxicity in Wistar rats. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2015;167(1):91-102


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.