Past Issue

Volume 11, Number 3, Oct-Dec 2017 Pages: 166-175

Aluminium-Induced Oxidative Stress, Apoptosis and Alterations in Testicular Tissue and Sperm Quality in Wistar Rats: Ameliorative Effects of Curcumin

Ebrahim Cheraghi, Ph.D, 1, *, Alireza Golkar, M.Sc, 2, Kambiz Roshanaei, Ph.D, 3, Behrang Alani, Ph.D, 4,
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Qom, Qom, Iran
Sciences Research Laboratory, Department of Biology, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qom, Iran
Department of Biology, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qom, Iran
Department of Applied Cell Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
*Corresponding Address: P.O.Box: 3716146611 Department of Biology Faculty of Sciences University of Qom Ghadir Bolvar Qom Iran



Reproductive toxicity is a major challenge associated with aluminum (Al) exposure. No studies have evaluated the possible effects of curcumin (CUR) on Al-induced reproductive dysfunction. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of CUR treatment on Al-induced reproductive damage.

Materials and Methods

In this experimental study, 40 male Wistar rats were allocated to the five groups (n=8) based on the treatment they received: no treatment (control), solvent [dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or distilled water], CUR 10 mg/kg body weight (BW), Al chloride 10 mg/kg BW, and CUR+Al chloride (10 mg/kg BW/each alone). Treatments were performed by intraperitoneal (IP) injections for 28 days. The left testis was assessed for histopathological analysis as well as the incidence of germ cell apoptosis. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Tukey’s test was used. P<0.05 was considered significant. A value of P<0.05 was considered significant.


Significant reductions in body and testis weight; plasma testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels; sperm count, motility, morphology, and viability; germinal epithelium thickness; seminiferous tubules diameter; as well as, superoxide dismutase activity were observed in rats treated with Al. Moreover, Al exposure caused significant increments in the lumen diameter of tubules, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels compared to the control group. However, in rats receiving CUR+Al, CUR significantly reversed the adverse effects of Al on testis and sperm quality. No significant differences in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels and nuclear diameter of spermatogonia were detected among all groups.


It can be concluded that Al causes reproductive dysfunction by creating oxidative damage. CUR, on the other hand, reduces the toxic effects of Al and improves the antioxidant status and sperm quality in male rats.