Protective role of Centella asiatica on lead-induced oxidative stress and suppressed reproductive health in male rats

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;32(2):146-54. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 May 4.


Centella asiatica has been mentioned in ancient ayurvedic text of the Indian system of medicine for its properties to promote intelligence. The objective of the present study was to investigate the beneficial effects of C. asiatica on lead-induced oxidative stress and suppressed reproductive performance in male rats. Significant decrease in the weights of testes and epididymis were observed in lead treated animals. Exposure to lead acetate significantly increased malondialdehyde levels with a significant decrease in the superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in the liver, brain, kidneys and testes of rats. Epididymal sperm count, viable sperms, motile sperms and HOS-tail coiled sperms decreased significantly in lead-exposed rats. Testicular steroidogenic enzyme activities also decreased significantly in lead-exposed rats. No significant changes in the selected reproductive variables were observed in the plant extract alone treated rats. Whereas, co-administration of aqueous extracts of C. asiatica to lead exposed rats showed a significant increase in the weights of reproductive organs, reduction in lead-induced oxidative stress in the tissues and improvement in selected reproductive parameters over lead-exposed rats indicating the beneficial role of C. asiatica to counteract lead-induced oxidative stress and to restore the suppressed reproduction in male rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 17-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • 3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Centella / chemistry*
  • Centella / metabolism
  • Epididymis / anatomy & histology
  • Epididymis / drug effects
  • Epididymis / metabolism
  • Lead / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reproductive Health*
  • Spermatozoa / abnormalities
  • Spermatozoa / cytology
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Testis / anatomy & histology
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Lead
  • 17-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases
  • 3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase