Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 8202–8211 | Cite as

Protective effects of quercetin supplementation against short-term toxicity of cadmium-induced hematological impairment, hypothyroidism, and testicular disturbances in albino rats

  • Gehan M. Badr
  • Hany Elsawy
  • Azza Sedky
  • Rania Eid
  • Awatef Ali
  • Basem M. Abdallah
  • Abdullah M. Alzahrani
  • Ashraf M. Abdel-MoneimEmail author
Research Article


The aim of this study was to evaluate the probable protective effect of quercetin (QUE) against cadmium (Cd)-induced sub-chronic toxicity in rats. Adult male rats were given either Cd (as cadmium chloride; 5 mg/kg) alone or in combination with QUE (50 mg/kg) daily for 4 weeks by oral gavage. At the end of the experimental period, Cd accumulation, and selected hematological, thyroid, and reproductive markers were assessed. Results revealed that Cd treatment significantly increased Cd concentrations in blood, thyroid gland, and testicular tissue of rats. Cd also caused a decline in hemoglobin content, hematocrit value, and total erythrocyte and leucocyte counts. Further, significant suppressions in the blood levels of hormones related to thyroid gland function, and male reproductive hormones (i.e., testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone), were observed in Cd-treated rats compared to the control. In parallel, low sperm count and sperm motility, increased sperm abnormalities, and marked pathology occurred in testis. Combination with QUE recorded amelioration of the deleterious effects of Cd, involving regulation of hematological toxicity and thyroid hormonal levels and subsequently modulation of testicular function. In conclusion, it appears that dietary QUE can rescue from Cd-induced hematological dysfunctions and testicular damage by reversing the hypothyroid state.


Cadmium chloride Quercetin Hematological markers Thyroid hormones Reproductive dysfunction 


Funding information

This work is financially supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia) under grant no. 17122008.

Compliance with ethical standards


The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4276_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (132 kb)
Suppl. Figure 1 Hematoxylin and eosin staining of testicular tissue of QUE group revealing normal testicular architecture. Abbreviations/labels inside the image: ST, seminiferous tubules; Sp, spermatozoa; IT, interstitial tissue. Original Magnification: 100x (a), 400x (b). (PDF 132 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, College of ScienceKing Faisal UniversityHofufSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceKing Faisal UniversityHofufSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceTanta UniversityTantaEgypt
  5. 5.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  6. 6.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineAswan UniversityAswanEgypt
  7. 7.Endocrine Research (KMEB), Department of EndocrinologyOdense University Hospital and University of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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