Development of excellent curative therapy for most of the malignancies has resulted in a growing population of cancer survivors who are at increased risk for a variety of health problems including infertility. Therefore, fertility preservation has become an important issue during cancer treatment in recent years. Combination therapy with natural agents such as vitamins, antioxidants, dietary supplements, and plant products are considered as an attractive option to mitigate normal tissue toxicity imparted by chemotherapy. The aim of the present study was to explore the beneficial effect of hydroethanolic extract of Indian propolis (HEIP) on mitigating mitomycin C (MMC)-induced testicular damage and its mechanism of action. Healthy adult male mice were injected intraperitoneally with saline, MMC, HEIP and HEIP followed by MMC after 1 h. The animals were dissected at 35 days after various treatments to analyze testicular function. MMC administration resulted in significant reduction in testicular function in a dose-dependent manner at 35 days after treatment which significantly improved by HEIP pre-treatment. At 24 h after treatment, MMC induced significant increase in oxidative stress, γ-H2AX foci and expression of RAD51 and KU80 in testicular cells. Prior treatment with HEIP decreased the oxidative stress, reduced DNA damage and restored the testicular testosterone and inhibin B level. In conclusion, co-administration of Indian propolis extract may play a promising beneficial role in fertility preservation of males undergoing chemotherapy.
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