Effects of artichoke extract supplementation on gonads of cadmium-treated rats

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007 Oct;119(1):51-9. doi: 10.1007/s12011-007-0048-2.


The present study was designed to determine whether artichoke (Cynara scolymus) exerts a protective effect on gonads of cadmium-treated rats and if there is a relationship between artichoke supplementation and nitric oxide (NO) formation in cells. Forty Wistar albino male rats, weighing an average of 90 g each, were equally divided into four groups receiving 1 mg/100 g cadmium chloride by injection (group 1), the same dose CdCl2 plus 3 mg/100 g artichoke extract (group 2), the same dose of artichoke extract (group 3), and male controls (group 4). Four additional groups, labeled 5-8, consisted of identically treated and control female rats. After 4 weeks of treatment, the animals were killed and their gonads were removed for histological examination. As expected, the seminiferous tubules and Leydig cells were damaged by cadmium. Ovarian tissue was not damaged to the same extent as testicular cells. Artichoke extract exerted a clear protective effect against Cd-induced testicular damage and lowered NO production to the same level of that in the control groups.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadmium Poisoning / pathology*
  • Cynara scolymus / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Leydig Cells / drug effects
  • Leydig Cells / pathology*
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Seminiferous Tubules / drug effects
  • Seminiferous Tubules / pathology*
  • Testis / drug effects


  • Plant Extracts
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos2 protein, rat