Dose- dependent ameliorative effects of quercetin and l-Carnitine against atrazine- induced reproductive toxicity in adult male Albino rats

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jun:102:855-864. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.03.136. Epub 2018 Apr 5.


This study aimed to determine the protective effects of co-administration of Quercetin (QT) or l-Carnitine (LC) against the oxidative stress induced by Atrazine (ATZ) in the reproductive system of intact male Albino rats. 36 rats were divided equally into 6 groups. Rats in the control negative "CNT" group received 1.5 ml distilled water for 21 days. All rats in the other groups received ATZ (120 mg/kg bw) through gavage. Groups 3 and 4 were co-administered with either low or high dose of QT (10 "ATZLQT" and 50 "ATZHQT" mg/kg bw, respectively). Groups 5 and 6 were co-administered with either low or high dose of LC (200 "ATZLLC" and 400 "ATZHLC" mg/kg bw, respectively). At the end of the experiment, animals were sacrificed and all samples were collected. ATZ significantly increased serum level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreased total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Also, ATZ increased significantly the sperm cell abnormalities and reduced both testicular IgA and serum testosterone levels. Testicular DNA laddering % and CYP17A1 mRNA expression were significantly reduced in ATZ group. Interestingly, co-administration with low dose QT or different doses of LC succeeded to counteract the negative toxic effects of ATZ on serum oxidative stress indicators, serum testosterone levels, testicular IgA level and improved testicular CYP17A1 mRNA expression. In conclusion, QT in low dose and LC in both low and high doses exerted a significant protective action against the reproductive toxicity of ATZ, while higher dose of QT failed induce immune-stimulant effect against ATZ in adult male Albino rats.

Keywords: Atrazine; DNA laddering; Oxidative stress; Quercetin; Rat; l-Carnitine.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Atrazine / toxicity*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carnitine / administration & dosage
  • Carnitine / pharmacology*
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Quercetin / administration & dosage
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase / genetics
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Toxicity Tests*


  • Antioxidants
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Oxidants
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Testosterone
  • Quercetin
  • CYP17A1 protein, rat
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Atrazine
  • Carnitine