Protective effects of thymoquinone on experimental testicular ischaemia–reperfusion injury: an apoptotic, proliferative and biochemical study

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The objective of this study was to examine the effects of thymoquinone (TQ), which has antioxidant properties in the experimental testicular I/R model in rats in terms of its anti-apoptotic, proliferative and biochemical attributes. In our study, 24 male rats were divided into three groups: control group, I/R group and I/R+TQ group. Testicular torsion was created by rotating the left testis 720° in a clockwise direction. The ischaemia period was 4 h, and an orchiectomy was performed after 4 h of detorsion. Spermatogenesis and the mean seminiferous tubule diameter were significantly decreased in the I/R groups compared to the control group. Furthermore, TQ-treated animals displayed an improved histological appearance in the I/R group. It was also observed that treatment with TQ increased the activity of PCNA, which decreased as a result of I/R, and this treatment also reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells. The I/R+TQ group showed a decrease in malondialdehyde levels and an increase in the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in comparison with the I/R group. It could be concluded that cytoprotective effects of TQ on the I/R testicles are via reduction of apoptosis, oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation.

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