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Physiological and Histological Study of the Therapeutic Effect of Silibinin on Testicular Alteration in Adult Male Albino Rats

Author(s): Sahar J. Melebary*
Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Jeddah, Jeddah 21493, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Sahar J. Melebary, Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Jeddah, Jeddah 21493, Saudi Arabia, E-mail:

The male reproductive system is vulnerable to oxidative stress, which is linked to several disorders. Silibinin, a natural polyphenolic flavonoid, possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anticancer properties. Considering silibinin's wide range of biological and metabolic roles (silibinin) plays, the current study was conducted to evaluate the biochemical, histological, immunohistochemical and morphometric changes that may develop in the rat testis exposed to oxidative stress and the possible protective role of silibinin. Thirty adult rats were used in the current study. Rats were equally divided into three groups. G1 negative control group, G2 was given thioacetamide (200 mg/kg body weight, G3 received silibinin at (100 mg/kg body weight) for 4 w concurrently with thioacetamide. Serum levels of sexual hormones and testicular oxidative stress markers were measured. Testicular sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin, and immunohistochemical stains for Vimentin and p53 subjected to morphometric and statistical analysis. Testicular histological architecture and biochemical and morphometric markers all declined in the thioacetamide group. When rats were given silibinin, however, the normal biochemical and morphometric parameters were restored and the histological structure of their testicles was preserved. This investigation showed that silibinin might increase testosterone and gonadotropin levels and enhance several testicular indices (luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone). The protective effects of silibinin on reproductive toxicity and oxidative stress were evidenced by the antioxidant activities and improvement of the histological structures of both Leydig and Sertoli cells. As a result, it can be used as a supplement to improve male reproductive function, particularly spermatogenesis.

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