Alleviative effects of quercetin and onion on male reproductive toxicity induced by diesel exhaust particles.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 May;72(5):1235-41. Epub 2008 May 7. PMID: 18460802
Division of Human Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aomori University of Health and Welfare, Aomori 030-8505, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) are particulate matter from diesel exhaust that contain many toxic compounds, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Some toxicities of PAH are thought to be expressed via aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhRs). The male reproductive toxicity of DEPs might depend on AhR activation induced by PAHs. We hypothesized that AhR antagonists protect against the male reproductive toxicity of DEPs. Quercetin is a flavonoid and a well-known AhR antagonist, while onion contains many flavonoids, including quercetin. Hence, we examined whether quercetin and onion have alleviative effects against the male reproductive toxicity induced by DEPs. BALB/c male mice were fed quercetin- or onion-containing diets and received 10 injections of DEP suspension or vehicle into the dorsal subcutaneous layer over 5 weeks. The mice were euthanized at 2 weeks, after the last treatment, and their organs were collected. Daily sperm production and total incidence of sperm abnormalities were significantly affected in the DEP groups as compared with the vehicle group, but the total incidence of sperm abnormalities in the quercetin + DEP-treated mice was significantly reduced as compared with the DEP-treated mice. The numbers of Sertoli cells were significantly decreased in DEP-treated mice as compared with the vehicle-treated mice, but, the numbers of Sertoli cells were significantly increased in the quercetin and the onion + DEP-treated mice as compared with the DEP-treated mice. These results clearly indicate alleviative effects of quercetin and onion against the male reproductive toxicity induced by DEP.