Myco-estrogen zearalenone reduced testicular endocrine activity and enhanced germinal cells apoptosis in rats

Cheraghi, S.; Razi, M.; Malekinejad, H.
June 2014
Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine;Jun2014 Supplement, Vol. 12, p99
Academic Journal
Introduction: Zearalenone (ZEA) is known as a nonsteroidal oestrogenic mycotoxin produced by different species of Fusarium fungi that grow on cereals. ZEA exerts its detrimental impact partly via inducing conformational alterations in physiologic interactions of estrogen receptors. Therefore, present study was designed in order to evaluate the effect of different doses of ZEA on testicular endocrine status as well as spermatogenesis. Materials and Methods: Thirty mature male rats were divided into four groups including; control-sham (2mL, normal slain, ip), low dose ZEA-treated (lmg/kg, ip), medium dose ZEA-treated (2mg/kg, ip), high dose ZEA-treated (4mg/kg, ip). All animals received chemicals for 21 continuous days. The serum levels of testosterone, inhibin-B as well as Leydig cells intracytoplasmic steroid foci were analyzed by using radioimmunoassay and epifluorescent microscopy, respectively. The TUNEL staining was used in order to evaluate the germinal cells apoptosis. Results: ZEA-received animals exhibited significant (p<0.05) decrease in serum levels of testosterone and inhibin-B in a dose dependent manner. Chronic administration of ZEA remarkably (p<0.05) reduced Leydig cells steroidogenic content, which was more pronounced in high dose ZEA-treated group. ZEA resulted in severe germinal cells apoptosis, dose dependently. No histopathological and biochemical alterations were revealed in control-sham group. Conclusion: Our data suggest that ZEA exerts its pathological impact by reducing the testicular endocrine status both at Leydig and Sertoli cells level, which in turn results in sever apoptosis in germinal cells.


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