Aim: To investigate if cisplatin alters vitamin status and if VR modulates cisplatin induced intestinal apoptosis and oxidative stress in Wistar/NIN (WNIN) male rats.
Methods: Weanling, WNIN male rats (n = 12 per group) received adlibitum for 17 wk: control diet (20% protein) or the same with 50% vitamin restriction. They were then sub-divided into two groups of six rats each and administered cisplatin (2.61 mg/kg bodyweight) once a week for three wk or PBS (vehicle control). Intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) apoptosis was monitored by morphometry, Annexin-V binding, M30 cytodeath assay and DNA fragmentation. Structural and functional integrity of the villus were assessed by villus height/crypt depth ratio and activities of alkaline phosphatase, lys, ala-dipeptidyl amino-peptidase, respectively. To assess the probable mechanism(s) of altered apoptosis, oxidative stress parameters, caspase-3 activity, and expression of Bcl-2 and Bax were determined.
Results: Cisplatin per se decreased plasma vitamin levels and they were the lowest in VR animals treated with cisplatin. As expected VR increased only villus apoptosis, whereas cisplatin increased stem cell apoptosis in the crypt. However, cisplatin treatment of VR rats increased apoptosis both in villus and crypt regions and was associated with higher levels of TBARS, protein carbonyls and caspase-3 activity, but lower GSH concentrations. VR induced decrease in Bcl-2 expression was further lowered by cisplatin. Bax expression, unaffected by VR was increased on cisplatin treatment. Mucosal functional integrity was severely compromised in cisplatin treated VR-rats.
Conclusion: Low intake of vitamins increases the sensitivity of rats to cisplatin and promotes intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis.