Although Momordica charantia (MC) has preventive effects on tissue injuries, antioxidant capacity and protective effect of MC pulp and peel (MCP) on valproic acid (VPA)-testicular damage have never been reported. Fresh MCPs were aqueous extracted and determined for antioxidant capacity and momordicine I level by HPLC. Male rats were divided into 5 groups (control, VPA (500 mg/kgBW), MCP20/40/ or 80 mg/kgBW+VPA). In 30 experimental days, animals were pretreated with different doses of MCPs for 20 days before VPA injection for 10 consecutive days. Sperm concentration, testosterone hormone, and testicular histology of all groups were investigated. Expressions of testicular tyrosine phosphorylated and steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) proteins were examined by Western blot. Results showed that MCP contains TPC (39.24±0.65 ug/mg garlic acid), antioxidant capacities (FRAP=33.08±0.21 ug/ mg ascorbic acid equivalent, IC50 of DPPH=389.8±3.20 ug/ml), and momordicine I (404.9 mg/g MCP). Sperm concentration in MCP80+VPA group was increased as compared to VPA group. Testosterone level in MCP treated groups was significantly increased. MCP protected testicular damage and could prevent the decrease of StAR and a 50-kDa phosphorylated protein expression in VPA- treated testis. In conclusion, MCP has antioxidant activities and can prevent male reproductive toxicity in VPA-induced rats.
KEY WORDS: Momordica charantia; Momordicine I; Antioxidant capacity; Testicular damage; Valproic acid.