Urtica Dioica Leaf Extract Attenuates Oxidative Stress Induced by Environment Pollutant Benzo[a] Pyrene in Mouse Testicular Tissues

Sarah Albogami1, *
1 Department of Biotechnology, College of Science, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia

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© 2023 Sarah Albogami

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biotechnology, College of Science, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia; E-mail



Epidemiological studies have shown that elevated levels of air pollutants are associated with various adverse health effects, including infertility.


We aimed to assess the protective effects of aqueous Urtica dioica leaf extract against benzo[a]pyrene -induced oxidative damage in mouse testis.


Mice exposed to benzo[a]pyrene were treated with or without aqueous Urtica dioica extract for five weeks, and changes in body and testes weights, messenger RNA levels and activities of antioxidant enzymes, plasma testosterone levels, sperm characteristics, and testicular tissue histology were determined.


Exposure to benzo[a]pyrene remarkably reduced testis and body weights, the expression and activity of antioxidant enzymes, increased lipid peroxidation, decreased plasma testosterone levels and sperm count and motility, affected sperm morphology and viability, and damaged the seminiferous tubules. Treatment with aqueous Urtica dioica leaf extract attenuated benzo[a]pyrene -induced oxidative stress in the testicular tissue by increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. Further, Urtica dioica leaf extract reduced lipid peroxidation, increased antioxidative enzyme activity, enhanced sperm characteristics, increased plasma testosterone levels, and improved the morphology of the seminiferous tubules.


Aqueous Urtica dioica leaf extract protects testicular tissue from benzo[a]pyrene -induced oxidative damage and could potentially reverse benzo[a]pyrene -induced infertility.

Keywords: Antioxidant, Benzo[a]pyrene (B(a)P), Infertility, Oxidative stress, Pollution, Urtica dioica leaf extract.