The objective of the study was to investigate the protective effect of Apium graveolens (AP) against di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)-induced testes injury in rats. Adult rats were divided into nine groups: (1) control group (no treatment); (2) corn oil (60 μg/kg body weight - bwt); (3) AP (50 μg/kg bwt); (4) 300 mg DEHP/kg bwt; (5) 500 mg DEHP/kg bwt; (6) 1000 mg DEHP/kg bwt; (7) 300 mg DEHP/kg bwt+AP; (8) 500 mg DEHP/kg bwt+AP; and (9) 1000 mg DEHP/kg bwt+AP. Oral administration of treatments was performed daily for 6 weeks. DEHP decreased (p<0.01) body weight, testis weight and serum concentrations of testosterone, cholesterol and total proteins. Moreover, DEHP increased (p<0.001) total antioxidant capacity in the testis and plasma DEHP level. In addition, DEHP decreased mRNA expression of two testicular steroidogenic enzymes: 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. DEHP also caused atrophy, vacuolar degeneration and aspermia of the seminiferous tubules. AP administered concurrently with DEHP effectively alleviated most of the DEHP-induced effects. In conclusion, in male rats, DEHP had adverse effects on the testis including inhibition of androgen production. A concurrent administration of A. graveolens (celery oil) protected the testis against DEHP-induced toxicity.
Keywords: 17β-HSD; 3β-HSD; Cholesterol; Testes; Testosterone.
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