The study aimed to evaluate the effect Echinacea extract (E) on the testicular antioxidants function in normal rats or that subjected to anti-androgenic compound, cyproterone acetate (CA). Rats were divided into 5 groups treated daily via an oral tube for two intervals 2 and 4 weeks, 1st control, 2nd E (63mg/kg), 3rd CA (25mg/kg), 4th E+CA and 5th E as prophylactic one week before E+CA treatment. So CA used as a positive control compound with antiandrogenic activity with proposed testicular oxidant. The body, testes, epididymis and vas deferens weights were recorded. Sperm count, nitric oxide (NO), calcium ion (Ca2+) and malondialdhyde (MDA) contents in addition to superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities were determined in testicular tissues. CA exhibited direct negative effect on reproductive organs weight and significant reducing effect on sperm count and Ca2+ contents. SOD and GST activities significantly decreased in addition to significant increase in NO, MDA contents reflecting the oxidative status of testis in CA treated rats.
The prophylactic effect of E treatment, in time related manner, showed significant improvement in the antioxidant status of the testicular tissue which is more pronounced as compared to E+CA treatment.
Key wards: Echinacea, cyproterone acetate, reproductive system, antioxidants
The antioxidant system plays an effective role in protecting testes and other biological tissues below a critical threshold of reactive oxygen species (ROS) thus preventing testicular dysfunction (Oschsendorf, 1999). ROS mediated oxidative stress is one of crucial reasons of infertility and decreased sperm viability and increased level of free radicals may cause degeneration of testicular tissue (Koksal et al, 2002; Turner and Lysiak, 2008). The administration of antioxidants to normal animals, not suffering from induced oxidative stress, also appears to improve testicular function, suggesting that oxidative stress is a consistent feature of testicular physiology (Orozco et al., 2003; Juan et al., 2005), antioxidants administered to infertile men advocate promising their use in male infertility treatment(Suleiman et al., 1996; Keskes-Ammar et al., 2003)
Cyproterone acetate is a synthetic steroidal drug which competes with testosterone and dihydrotestosterone for the androgen receptor. It is used to suppress male fertility in oral contraceptives formulations and also in the treatment of various sexual and metabolic disorders. (Meriggiola et al., 1996). Cyproterone also has progesterone like activity and reduces pituitary luteinizing hormone and plasma testosterone (McLeod, 1993) and suppresses the secretion of gonadotropins and thus interferes with testosterone production (Barradell and Faulds, 1994; Neumann, 1994; Honer et al., 2003). Due to the direct interaction with the cellular receptors CA inhibits the action of the androgens, and for this property it is used in the treatment of...