Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Paclitaxel is a widely used drug for the treatment of cancer, but it possesses toxic effects on male reproductive system. Administering paclitaxel with an antioxidant has become a strategy for preventing the side effects of paclitaxel. Although curcumin is an antioxidant, data concerning the effect of curcumin on paclitaxel-induced testis tissue are lacking. The present study was established to examine the protective impact of curcumin against testicular damage induced by paclitaxel. Materials and methods: In the study, 40 Wistar albino male rats were used and randomly divided into 4 groups (n:10). The control group received only saline solution; the curcumin group received curcumin throughout the experiment; the paclitaxel group received a total of four doses of paclitaxel on days 1, 7, 14, and 21 of the experiment; curcumin + paclitaxel group received curcumin throughout the experiment and a total of four doses of paclitaxel on days 1, 7, 14, and 21 of the experiment. At the end of the experiment, the rats were decapitated under xylazine and ketamine anesthesia and their testicles were removed. The sections obtained from the testicles were stained with Hematoxylin & Eosin and histopathological damage was evaluated. The TUNEL method was applied to determine apoptotic cells. Testosterone levels were measured in the blood serum. The Johnsen testicular biopsy score (JTBS) was used to evaluate testicular tubules. DNA damage was evaluated in sperm samples taken from the ductus epididymis using the comet assay technique. Results: Testicular tissue was severely damaged in the paclitaxel group. In the curcumin + paclitaxel group, it was determined that the administration of curcumin with paclitaxel reduced the histological damage in the testicular tissue. Moreover, according to the JTBS, the value was significantly higher in the testicular tubules (p < 0.05). Testosterone levels were higher in curcumin + paclitaxel group than in paclitaxel group. DNA damage also decreased significantly in curcumin + paclitaxel group when compared to paclitaxel group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The results showed that curcumin may be protective against damage caused by paclitaxel in the testicles of rats.


Paclitaxel, curcumin, comet assay, rat, testes

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