Curcumin attenuates testicular damage, apoptotic germ cell death, and oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Sep;57(9):1578-85. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200170. Epub 2012 Aug 29.


Scope: The present study was designed to examine the protective and antioxidative effects of curcumin (Cur) on streptozotocin (STZ) induced testicular damage, apoptotic germ cell death, and oxidative stress.

Methods and results: Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of STZ (50 mg/kg). The rats in the Cur-treated group were given Cur (100 mg/kg) once a day intragastrik for 8 weeks starting 3 days prior to STZ injection. Cur treatment significantly decreased the elevated tissue malondialdehyde levels and increased the reduced superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase enzyme activities in testis tissues samples. The Cur-treated rats in the diabetic group showed an improved histological appearance and serum testosterone levels. Our data indicate a significant reduction in the activity of in situ identification of apoptosis using terminal dUTP nick end-labeling and there was a rise in the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen in testis tissues of Cur-treated rats in the diabetic group.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that Cur attenuated testicular damage in diabetic rats by decreasing oxidative stress.

Keywords: Apoptozis; Curcumin; Diabetes; Oxidative stress; Testis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Germ Cells / drug effects*
  • Germ Cells / pathology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Streptozocin
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Testosterone
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Streptozocin
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Curcumin