Protective effects of silymarin on methotrexate-induced damages in rat testes

Creative Commons License

Yaman T., UYAR A., Kaya M. S., Keleş Ö. F., USLU B. A., Yener Z.

BRAZILIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES, vol.54, no.1, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The present study aimed to investigate the protective effects of silymarin (SMN), an antioxidant, on methotrexate (MTX)-induced damage in rat testes. Thirty-two Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups (n = 8): control, MTX (20 mg/kg, i.p. on days 1 and 5), SMN (200 mg/kg, orally), and MTX + SMN (20 mg/kg, i.p. on days 1 and 5 and SMN 200 mg/kg orally) groups. At the end of the 6-week trial period, histopathological, immunohistochemical, biochemical, and spermatological analyses were performed on testes tissues. Histopathologically, MTX-induced damage, including depletion of germ cell and loos of spermatozoa, was significantly improved with SMN treatment. Immunohistochemically, the immunoreactivity of glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1) and manganese superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) were detected more intensely in the MTX + SMN group than in the MTX group. Biochemical examinations revealed that SMN supplementation decreased the lipid peroxidation and increased enzymatic antioxidants in the SMN-treated rats. Spermatologically, significant differences were found in the density, motility, dead-to-live sperm ratio, and abnormal sperm rate in the MTX + SMN group compared to the MTX group. In conclusion, SMN seems to have protective effects as an antioxidant against MTX-induced damage in rat testes.