Gynostemma pentaphyllum protects mouse male germ cells against apoptosis caused by zearalenone via Bax and Bcl-2 regulation

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2010 Mar;20(3):153-8. doi: 10.3109/15376511003660185.


The objective of this study was to explore the effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum on Zearalenone-induced apoptosis in mouse male germ cells. Fifty Kunming male mice at 25-days-old were classified into five groups: group A was the control (10% ethanol, 0.5 ml/day); group B with 10 microg Zearalenone/day; group C with 10 microg Zearalenone and 50 mg/kg/day Gynostemma pentaphyllum; group D with 10 microg Zearalenone and 100 mg/kg/day Gynostemma pentaphyllum; and group E with 10 microg Zearalenone and 200 mg/kg/day Gynostemma pentaphyllum. It was found that Gynostemma pentaphyllum has a marked effect on protecting male germ cells against Zearalenone-induced apoptosis, as evidenced by a reduced apoptosis rate of male germ cells and Bax expression as well as an enhancement of Bcl-2 expression in Gynostemma pentaphyllum-treated groups compared to the control. In addition, Gynostemma pentaphyllum remarkably improved pathologic changes of testicular tissue, reduced the content of malondialdehyde (MDA), and increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) caused by Zearalenone. Taken together, these results suggest that Gynostemma pentaphyllum protects against toxicity caused by Zearalenone through anti-oxidation and anti-apoptosis via the regulation of Bax and Bcl-2 expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gynostemma*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa / pathology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / pathology
  • Zearalenone / toxicity*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / genetics
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Zearalenone
  • Superoxide Dismutase