Quercetin ameliorates polychlorinated biphenyls-induced testicular DNA damage in rats

Andrologia. 2016 Feb;48(1):51-8. doi: 10.1111/and.12417. Epub 2015 Apr 19.


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of environmental contaminants widely reported to cause gonadal toxicity in both humans and animals. This study investigated the amelioratory role of quercetin in PCBs-induced DNA damage in male Wistar rats. Polychlorinated biphenyls were administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 2 mg kg(-1) alone or in combination with quercetin (orally) at 50 mg kg(-1) for 25 days. Quercetin modulation of PCBs-induced gonadal toxicity was evaluated using selected oxidative stress indices, comet assay, measurement of DNA concentration and histology of the testes. Administration of PCBs alone caused a significant (P < 0.05) depletion in the total thiol level in testes of treated rats. Conversely, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) production were markedly elevated in testes of PCBs-treated rats compared with control. Further, PCBs exposure produced statistically significant increases in DNA tail migration, degraded double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) concentration and histological alterations of testes of the treated rats compared to control. Quercetin cotreatment significantly improved the testicular antioxidant status, decreased DNA fragmentation and restored the testicular histology, thus demonstrating the protective effect of quercetin in PCBs-treated rats.

Keywords: DNA; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); quercetin; rats; testes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity*
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Quercetin
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls