Corresponding Author


Document Type

Original Article

Subject Areas

Botany, Microbiology and Zoology


Brassica oleracia; Cabbage seed extract; Silymarin; Gamma rays; sperm abnormalities; epididymis


Cabbage, one of the favorite food in Egypt and many other parts of the world, has been reported for its potent action as antioxidant as well as its content of anticancer compounds. The main objective of this work is to test the antioxidant activity of cabbage seed extract against the effect of gamma rays on the structure of cauda epididymis and epididymal sperm morphology in rat. Silymarin, a plant extract, is a potent antioxidant was used in this study as a comparing reference for the extent of Brassica extract activity. Ninty male albino rats were used and divided into six groups: Group 1 (control), group 2 (irradiated control), group 3 (cabbage seed extract), group 4 (cabbage irradiated), group 5 (silymarin extract) and group 6 (silymarin irradiated). The experimental rats were scarificed at 1, 7 and 21 days post- 6 Gy whole body irradiation. Specimens of the cauda epididymidis dissected, smears of semen were collected from them, placed on slides and stained by H and E for studying of spermatozoa. Paraffin sections of cauda epididymidis were prepared and stained by H and E for histological study. Irradiation caused a highly significant decrease in the tubular diameter of the cauda epididymis.Itinduced degenerative changes in the form of decreased thickness in the lining epithelium of the tubules,congestion of blood vessels, tubular collapse and reduction of luminal spermatozoa with increased abnormal forms as compared to the control. In Brassica drenched rats and after irradiation, there was non significant decrease in the diameter of epididymal tubules as compared with the corresponding control. There was a marked improvement in the height of the lining epithelial cells that appeared more or less similar to the control. In most specimens of the epididymidis from silymarin drenched and after one day of irradiation, the tubular epithelium was thin and the lumen was small, irregularly shaped with sticky luminal spermatozoa. However, after three weeks of radiation, sections of the epididymidis showed ameliorative effect of silymarin. In conclusion, Brassica seed extract proved to be radioprotective as much or even better than silymarin against radiation effect on epididymis as well as sperms.

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