Past Issue

Volume 12, Number 1, Apr-Jun 2018, Pages: 72-80

Curcumin and Quercetin Ameliorated Cypermethrin and Deltamethrin-Induced Reproductive System Impairment in Male Wistar Rats by Upregulating The Activity of Pituitary-Gonadal Hormones and Steroidogenic Enzymes

Poonam Sharma, Ph.D, 1, Irshad Aslam Khan, M.Phil, 2, Rambir Singh, Ph.D, 3, *,
Department of Zoology, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India
Department of Zoology, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India
*Corresponding Address: Department of Biomedical Sciences Bundelkhand University Jhansi Uttar Pradesh India



Dietary antioxidants protect tissues and organs against insecticides/xenobiotic-induced damage. In the present study, we evaluated the results of exposure to synthetic pyrethroid insecticides, cypermethrin (Cyp) and deltamethrin (Del) and possible protective effects of curcumin and quercetin on reproductive system in male Wistar rats.

Materials and Methods

In this controlled experimental study, 42 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 7 groups of 6 animals. Group A served as control, group B was exposed to Cyp (2 mg/, group C was exposed to Del (2 mg/, group D was exposed to Cyp+Del (2 mg/ each), group E was exposed to Cyp+Del and treated with curcumin (100 mg/, group F was exposed to Cyp+Del and treated with quercetin (100 mg/ and group G was exposed to Cyp+Del and treated with quercetin+curcumin for 45 days.


Exposure to Cyp and Del caused decreases in reproductive organs weight, sperm count, sperm motility, level of sex hormones viz. testosterone (T), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), steroidogenic enzymes viz. 3β-hydroxyl steroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) and 17β-HSD, non-enzymatic antioxi- dant glutathione (GSH) and enzymatic antioxidants viz. superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR) activity and increases in sperm abnormalities and lipid peroxidation (LPO). The exposure also adversely affected the histo-achitecture of testes. Single and combined treatment with curcumin and quercetin significantly ameliorated Cyp and Del-induced damage in reproductive system.


Curcumin and quercetin protected against Cyp and Del-induced reproductive system toxicity and oxidative damage in rats. The increases in activities of 3β-HSD and 17β-HSD with concomitant increases in testosterone were mainly responsible for ameliorating effects of curcumin and quercetin. Curcumin showed slightly better activity as compared to quercetin. The combination of both antioxidants offered more protection compared to each one alone.