Protective effects of zinc oxide nanoparticles against doxorubicin induced testicular toxicity and DNA damage in male rats
The present study aims to investigate the protective effects of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) on doxorubicin-induced testicular injury. Forty mature male rats were randomly allocated into four equal groups: G1 (control), G2 (3 mg per kg BW of zinc oxide nanoparticles was administered), G3 (6 mg per kg BW of doxorubicin was intraperitoneally injected), and G4 (doxorubicin + ZnO NPs). Some fertility parameters, antioxidant status, genotoxicity assay, and a histopathological examination were used for this investigation. The doxorubicin-treated group showed a significant decrease in the index weight of reproductive organs, epididymal sperm count, motility%, and live sperm% and a significant increase in sperm abnormalities. Moreover, GSH and CAT activities were significantly decreased, and MDA content was significantly increased in the doxorubicin-treated group. Interestingly, co-administration of ZnO NPs significantly reduced the doxorubicin-induced changes in the investigated parameters. In addition, ZnO NPs alone did not show any undesirable effects on the sperm parameters, testis or DNA. However, its administration improves the reproductive parameters and significantly increases the testosterone level. We concluded that the administration of ZnO NPs at 3 mg per kg BW ameliorated the testicular toxicity and genotoxicity caused by doxorubicin through its antioxidant and androgenic activity.