How Elderberry Extract Protects Against Pesticide-Induced Stress and Cell Damage

Jenn Hoskins
24th May, 2024

How Elderberry Extract Protects Against Pesticide-Induced Stress and Cell Damage

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Cairo University investigated the effects of Sambucus nigra (SN) extract on reproductive toxicity caused by the insecticide Fenpropathrin (FNP) in rats
  • FNP exposure significantly reduced sperm count and motility, lowered testosterone levels, and decreased activity of the StAR gene, which is essential for steroid production
  • SN extract administration mitigated these adverse effects, restoring reproductive parameters closer to normal levels, likely due to its antioxidant properties
Fenpropathrin (FNP) is a widely used synthetic insecticide belonging to the pyrethroid class, frequently applied in agricultural and horticultural settings. Despite its effectiveness, FNP has been linked to adverse environmental and health effects due to its prolonged persistence in the environment. A recent study conducted by Cairo University aimed to investigate whether the extract from Sambucus nigra (SN), a plant known for its strong antioxidant properties, could counteract the reproductive toxicity caused by FNP in rats[1]. The study involved thirty rats divided into six groups: a control group with no treatment, two groups receiving different doses of SN extract, a group exposed to FNP, and two groups treated with both FNP and SN extract. The findings revealed that FNP exposure led to a significant decline in sperm count and motility, reduced testosterone levels, and decreased activity of the StAR gene, which is crucial for steroidogenesis. Additionally, FNP exposure resulted in elevated levels of malondialdehyde (a marker of oxidative stress) and a significant drop in glutathione (GSH) content, a critical antioxidant. There was also an increase in the expression of caspase 3, an enzyme associated with apoptosis or programmed cell death. However, the administration of SN extract mitigated these adverse effects. The SN extract helped restore spermatogenesis, bringing the reproductive parameters closer to those observed in the control group. This suggests that SN extract has the potential to counteract the reproductive toxicity induced by FNP, likely due to its antioxidant properties. This study aligns with previous research indicating the harmful effects of pyrethroids on reproductive health. For instance, a study investigating the impact of cypermethrin (another pyrethroid) on male rats found that cypermethrin inhibited testicular antioxidative mechanisms and steroidogenesis, leading to decreased testosterone levels and poor sperm quality[2]. The use of L-carnitine-loaded nanoparticles (LCn) in that study showed promising results in alleviating these toxic effects by improving oxidative stress status and enhancing steroidogenic enzyme activity[2]. Similarly, the SN extract in the current study appears to function through its antioxidative properties, reducing oxidative stress markers and improving reproductive health. Furthermore, the neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting properties of pyrethroids have been well-documented. A systematic review highlighted the potential neurodevelopmental impacts of pyrethroid exposure during pregnancy and childhood, suggesting that these chemicals could interfere with thyroid hormone function and other key events in neurodevelopment[3]. This adds another layer of concern regarding the widespread use of pyrethroids like FNP. The findings from Cairo University contribute to a growing body of evidence that natural antioxidants, such as those found in SN extract, can play a crucial role in mitigating the toxic effects of environmental pollutants like pyrethroids. This study not only underscores the reproductive toxicity of FNP but also offers a potential natural remedy to counteract these effects, emphasizing the need for further research into the protective benefits of botanical extracts. In conclusion, the study by Cairo University demonstrates that SN extract can significantly alleviate the reproductive toxicity induced by FNP in rats. By restoring spermatogenesis and reducing oxidative stress, SN extract shows promise as a natural intervention against the detrimental effects of pyrethroid exposure. This research adds to the existing knowledge on the harmful effects of pyrethroids and highlights the potential of natural antioxidants in mitigating these effects[2][3].

MedicineBiochemAnimal Science


Main Study

1) The mollifying effect of Sambucus nigra extract on StAR gene expression, oxidative stress, and apoptosis induced by Fenpropathrin in male rats.

Published 21st May, 2024

Related Studies

2) L-carnitine-loaded nanoparticle ameliorates cypermethrin-induced reproductive toxicity in adult male rats.

3) Pyrethroids and developmental neurotoxicity - A critical review of epidemiological studies and supporting mechanistic evidence.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙