Effects of vitamins C and E on steroidogenic enzymes mRNA expression in polychlorinated biphenyl (Aroclor 1254) exposed adult rat Leydig cells.
Toxicology. 2007 Apr 11;232(3):170-82. Epub 2007 Jan 16. PMID: 17280759
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous and persistent environmental contaminants that disturb normal endocrine functions including gonadal functions in humans and mammals. The present study was conducted to elucidate the protective role of vitamins C and E against Aroclor 1254-induced changes in Leydig cell steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein and steroidogenic enzymes mRNA expression. Adult male rats were dosed for 30 days with daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 2 mg/kg Aroclor 1254 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), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone and estradiol. The serum androgen binding protein was also estimated. 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 methods. Purified Leydig cells were used for quantification of androgen and estrogen receptors. In addition, total RNA was isolated from control and treated Leydig cells to monitor the steady-state mRNA levels by RT-PCR for StAR protein, cytochrome P(450)scc, 3beta-HSD and 17beta-HSD. Aroclor 1254 treatment significantly reduced the serum LH, FSH, testosterone, estradiol and androgen binding protein. In addition to this, Leydig cell androgen and estrogen receptors were markedly decreased. RT-PCR analysis of StAR mRNA level did not alter Aroclor 1254 treatment while steroidogenic enzymes such as cytochrome P(450)scc, 3beta-HSD and 17beta-HSD mRNAs were drastically decreased in Aroclor 1254 treatment. However, the simultaneous administration of vitamins C or E in Aroclor 1254-exposed rats resulted a significant restoration of all the above-mentioned parameters to the control level. These observations suggest that vitamins C and E have ameliorative role against PCBs-induced testicular Leydig cells dysfunction.