The effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on foetal male rat steroidogenesis.
ABSTRACT 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is the most toxic and widely investigated dioxin congener. In utero and lactational exposure to TCDD results in developmental and reproductive defects that are the most sensitive endpoints for TCDD toxicity. TCDD has a potential to interfere with steroid metabolism, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of TCDD on prenatal rat steroidogenesis. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley female rats were treated once with TCDD (0, 0.3 or 1 microg/kg) by gavage on embryonic day (ED) 11 and the expression levels of androgen (AR) and estrogen receptors (ER), steroidogenic enzymes (P450scc and 3beta-HSD) and four regulatory factors (StAR, SF-1, GATA-4 and Insl-3) involved in foetal Leydig cell and adrenal function were analysed on ED 19.5. Hormonal status of male foetuses was determined by measuring testicular testosterone (T) levels, plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) and corticosterone concentrations. In utero exposure to TCDD reduced intratesticular T of foetal males (significant at 0.3 microg/kg TCDD) and tended to reduce the protein expression of ERalpha and AR of foetal male rat testis. Foetal male rat plasma LH levels were significantly reduced at the dose of 1 microg/kg TCDD, while corticosterone levels tended to be increased possibly because of the TCDD-induced stress. Only minor alterations in steroidogenesis were observed in rat adrenal. mRNA expression of developmental regulatory factors was not influenced by foetal TCDD exposure, except for significantly reduced adrenal SF-1. The results demonstrate that maternal exposure to TCDD suppressed testicular steroidogenesis of 19.5-day-old foetal male Sprague-Dawley rat. The highest dose of TCDD (1 microg/kg) had also an effect on pituitary LH secretion. Our data implicate that TCDD has direct testicular and pituitary effects on foetal male rat but with different dose-responses. These changes can lead to impaired steroidogenesis and it may result in the maldevelopment of the testis and weaken masculinization.
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ABSTRACT: 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and dioxin-like compounds are widely encountered toxic substances suspected of interfering with the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife, and of contributing to the loss of fertility. In this study, we determined the changes in testicular gene expression caused by in utero exposure to TCDD along with the intra-testicular testosterone levels, epididymal sperm reserves, daily sperm production (DSP) and testis histology. To this purpose, female pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats orally received TCDD (10, 100 or 200 ng/kg body weight) or vehicle at embryonic day 15, and the offspring was killed throughout development. Hepatic Cyp1a1 gene expression was measured in the offspring to confirm the exposure to TCDD. The gross histology of the testes and intra-testicular testosterone levels were normal among the studied groups. Sperm reserves were altered in 67-day-old rats of the TCDD-200 group, but not in 145-day-old animals or in the other TCDD-exposed groups. Nonetheless, fertility was not altered in males of the TCDD-200 group, and the F2 males generated had normal sperm reserves and DSP. Microarray analysis permitted the identification of eight differentially expressed genes in the 4-week-old testes of the TCDD-200 compared with that of the control group (cut-off value +/- 1.40), including the down-regulated chemokine Ccl5/Rantes. Inhibition of Ccl5/Rantes gene expression was observed throughout development in the TCDD-200 group, and at 67 and 145 days in the TCDD-100 group (animals of younger ages were not examined). Ccl5/Rantes gene expression was mostly confined in Leydig cells. F2 males generated from males of the TCDD-200 group had normal levels of Ccl5/Rantes in testis and Cyp1a1 in liver, which might indicate that Ccl5/Rantes is a marker of TCDD exposure in testis such as Cyp1a1 in liver. In conclusion, we demonstrated a decrease in Ccl5/Rantes RNA levels and a transitory decline in sperm reserves in the testes of rats of TCDD-dosed dams.International Journal of Andrology 04/2010; 33(2):413-24. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the time-course changes of hormone levels and sperm numbers in male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats after neonatal exposure to 3,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB169). Neonatal rats were given (through oral gavages) doses of 0, 0.025, 0.25, or 0.5 mg/kg-day of PCB169 in corn oil from postnatal day 1 (PND1) to PND7. The rats were sacrificed at PND8, PND21, and PND90. PCB169 exposure was confirmed by the marked induction of liver CYP1A1 mRNA expression at these three time points. The testicular daily sperm production and the sperm counts of the epididymis cauda significantly decreased at PND90 compared to that of control. Although reductions in serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine levels occurred at all these three time points and at both PND21 and PND90, respectively, the mRNA expression of testicular thyroid hormone receptor α1 was suppressed significantly only at PND8. The serum and testicular testosterone (T) levels declined markedly at PND90 compared to the controls, but there was no effect at PND21. The mRNA expression of testicular steroidogenic factor 1 was inhibited markedly at the three time points, whereas those of StAR, P450c17, P450scc, and 3β-HSD were suppressed significantly only at PND90 relative to the controls. PCB169 treatment had no effects on pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels and on their receptors' expression in the testes. These results indicate that neonatal exposure to PCB169 damages hormone levels and testicular function in the long-term, resulting in persistent hypothyroidism and decreases in adult T levels and sperm counts.Environmental Toxicology 03/2011; 26(6):657-68. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: TCDD, as an endocrine disruptor, is known to impair testicular functions and fertility. To elucidate the mechanism(s) underlying the testicular effects of TCDD, the potential toxicity of TCDD on Sertoli cells was investigated. Furthermore, the study aims to delineate whether mitochondrial fractions of Sertoli cells are involved in mediating the testicular effects of TCDD. Adult rat Sertoli cells were incubated with (5, 10 or 15nM) of TCDD for 6, 12 or 24h. Cell viability, lactate and LDH leakage into media along with lipid peroxidation, ROS generation, SOD, CAT, GPx, GR, γ-GT and β-glucuronidase activities, GSH content and Δψ(m) were measured. Superoxide anion production, COX and cardiolipin content were measured in mitochondrial fractions. Cell viability was significantly decreased while lactate and LDH leakage into media were increased. ROS generation along with lipid peroxidation was also increased. SOD, CAT, GPx, GR activities and GSH content were significantly decreased. γ-GT and β-glucuronidase activities were also decreased. Superoxide anion production was increased while COX activity and cardiolipin content were decreased in mitochondrial fractions. Moreover, the Δψ(m) was significantly decreased as measured in Sertoli cells. In conclusion, TCDD impairs Sertoli cell functions and this effect is, at least in part, attributed to oxidative stress. We have also found that TCDD increases mitochondrial superoxide anion production and decreases Δψ(m), COX activity and mitochondrial cardiolipin content. Our findings suggest that mitochondria may play an important role in ROS production, leading to the TCDD-induced oxidative stress response and resulting toxicological consequences in rat Sertoli cells.Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 03/2011; 252(3):273-80. · 3.98 Impact Factor