Protective effects of silymarin on methotrexate-induced damages in rat testes

Yaman T., UYAR A., Kaya M. S. , Keleş Ö. F. , Uslu B. A. , Yener Z.

BRAZILIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES, vol.54, no.1, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1590/s2175-97902018000117529


The present study aimed to investigate the protective effects of silymarin (SMN), an antioxidant, on methotrexate (MTX)-induced damage in rat testes. Thirty-two Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups (n = 8): control, MTX (20 mg/kg, i.p. on days 1 and 5), SMN (200 mg/kg, orally), and MTX + SMN (20 mg/kg, i.p. on days 1 and 5 and SMN 200 mg/kg orally) groups. At the end of the 6-week trial period, histopathological, immunohistochemical, biochemical, and spermatological analyses were performed on testes tissues. Histopathologically, MTX-induced damage, including depletion of germ cell and loos of spermatozoa, was significantly improved with SMN treatment. Immunohistochemically, the immunoreactivity of glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1) and manganese superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) were detected more intensely in the MTX + SMN group than in the MTX group. Biochemical examinations revealed that SMN supplementation decreased the lipid peroxidation and increased enzymatic antioxidants in the SMN-treated rats. Spermatologically, significant differences were found in the density, motility, dead-to-live sperm ratio, and abnormal sperm rate in the MTX + SMN group compared to the MTX group. In conclusion, SMN seems to have protective effects as an antioxidant against MTX-induced damage in rat testes.