Objective: Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), an extract derived from fungi of Basidiomycetes family, has been found to be a potent antioxidant. Since the secretion of some hormones can be affected by reactive oxygen species, the objective of this study was to examine how ferric nitrilotriacetate (FeNTA), which generates hydroxyl radicals in vivo, modulates the hormone secretion and the effects of AHCC.
Methods: AHCC at 3 % in drinking water was given to male rats for one week, and the animals were decapitated at different time intervals after the treatment with FeNTA intraperitoneally. Serum levels of hormones (corticosterone, testosterone, thyroxine and triiodothyronine), adrenal ascorbic acid as well as changes in hepatic oxidative status were evaluated by immunoassay and spectrometry.
Results: Serum corticosterone levels increased significantly following FeNTA treatment, while AHCC reduced the increased levels to normal. Adrenal ascorbic acid levels that reflect ACTH secretion, were decreased by FeNTA and restored to normal by AHCC. Serum levels of testosterone and thyroxine (T4) decreased rapidly after FeNTA treatment, while AHCC pretreatment prevented this fall. Serum triiodothyroxine (T3) levels remained unchanged either by FeNTA or AHCC treatment. The hepatic oxidized glutathione, glutathione-related enzymes and also serum lipid peroxide were greatly enhanced after FeNTA treatment. All of these changes were restored to normal by AHCC pretreatment.
Conclusion: FeNTA induces various endocrine disorders and AHCC ameliorates these effects by acting as an antioxidant.