Studies on the protective role of vitamin C and E against polychlorinated biphenyl (Aroclor 1254)--induced oxidative damage in Leydig cells.

Research paper by Palaniappan P Murugesan, Thirupathi T Muthusamy, Karundevi K Balasubramanian, Jagadeesan J Arunakaran

Indexed on: 22 Nov '05Published on: 22 Nov '05Published in: Free radical research


Free radical production and lipid peroxidation are potentially important mediators in testicular physiology and toxicology. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are global environmental contaminants that cause disruption of the endocrine system in human and animals. The present study was conducted to elucidate the protective role of vitamin C and E against Aroclor 1254-induced changes in Leydig cell steroidogenesis and antioxidant system. Adult male rats were dosed for 30 days with daily intraperitoneal (ip) injection of 2 mg/kg Aroclor or vehicle (corn oil). One group of rats was treated with vitamin C (100 mg/kg bw/day) while the other group was treated with vitamin E (50 mg/kg bw/day) orally, simultaneously with Aroclor 1254 for 30 days. One day after the last treatment, animals were euthanized and blood was collected for the assay of serum hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin (PRL), triiodothyronine (T(3)), thyroxine (T(4)), testosterone and estradiol. Testes were quickly removed and Leydig cells were isolated in aseptic condition. Purity of Leydig cells was determined by 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) staining method. Purified Leydig cells were used for quantification of cell surface LH receptors and steroidogenic enzymes such as cytochrome P(450) side chain cleavage enzyme (P(450)scc), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17beta- HSD). Leydig cellular enzymatic antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and non-enzymatic antioxidants such as vitamin C and E were assayed. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also estimated in Leydig cells. Aroclor 1254 treatment significantly reduced the serum LH, TSH, PRL, T(3), T(4), testosterone and estradiol. In addition to this, Leydig cell surface LH receptors, activities of the steroidogenic enzymes such as cytochrome P(450)scc, 3beta-HSD, 17beta-HSD, antioxidant enzymes SOD, CAT, GPX, GR, gamma-GT, GST and non-enzymatic antioxidants such as vitamin C and E were significantly diminished whereas, LPO and ROS were markedly elevated. However, the simultaneous administration of vitamin C and E in Aroclor 1254 exposed rats resulted a significant restoration of all the above-mentioned parameters to the control level. These observations suggest that vitamin C and E have ameliorative role against adverse effects of PCB on Leydig cell steroidogenesis.