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The effects of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate on testicular ultrastructure and hormone-regulated gene expression in male rats

Abstract

The objective of this study is to determine the testicular pathological damage and explore its molecular mechanisms after di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) treatment. A total of 40 healthy 5-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups, which received intragastrical administration of 0 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg and 1500 mg/kg DEHP for continuous six weeks. After DEHP treatment, the testis and testis coefficient were calculated, histopathological change of the testis was examined by HE staining and the ultrastructure of testis was examined by transmission electron microscopy. The gene expression levels were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR and the protein expression levels were conducted by western blot. Both 500 mg/kg and 1500 mg/kg DEPH treatments decreased the wet weight of testis and testis coefficient, which with exists of vacuoles in sertoli cells and mitochondria broken ridges and degranulation. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that the relative gene expression levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) increased in 100 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg, and 1500 mg/kg DEHP groups respectively. Additionally, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD) expression levels were increased in the group of 1500 mg/kg DEHP treatment. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) expression levels were decreased in 500 mg/kg and 1500 mg/kg DEHP treatments. DEHP-induced serious pathological damage and ultrastructure changes in rat testis, caused endocrine disorder and interfere with the synthesis of male hormones, and ultimately lead to male reproductive system dysfunction.

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Oct 2017, accepted on 21 Jan 2018 and first published on 02 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TX00257B
Citation: Toxicol. Res., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    The effects of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate on testicular ultrastructure and hormone-regulated gene expression in male rats

    X. Qin, Q. Ma, J. Yuan, X. Hu, Q. Tan, Z. Zhang, L. Wang and X. Xu, Toxicol. Res., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TX00257B

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