This study was performed to investigate the effects of Withania somnifera (family: Solanaceae) on the antioxidant status and hormonal level in acephate administered rats. Oral administration of acephate (75 mg/kg body weight/day) for 15 and 30 days caused a significant decrease in serum testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) concentration when compared with control group. Serum testosterone, LH and FSH concentration were increased in group IV and group V indicating a positive influence ofW. somnifera on acephate administered rats. The changes in the antioxidant parameters were accompanied by an increase in testicular lipid peroxidation and reduction in glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity. The level of lipid peroxidation was reduced whereas GSH content, SOD and catalase activity were elevated after treatment with W. somnifera at the dose level of 100 mg/kg body weight/day. In conclusion, this study showed that acephate apart from being a hormonal disrupter also causes oxidative stress which contributed to reproductive toxicity in the male rats. The protective effects of Withania on reproductive toxicity and oxidative stress have also been shown as evidenced by a clear attenuation of acephate-induced hormonal imbalance and oxidative stress.
Key words: Testosterone, antioxidant, lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress.
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