The study was undertaken to evaluate the possible involvement of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of ethanol induced testicular atrophy in rats. Adult male rats were orally administered ethanol at a dose of 1.6 g/kg body weight/day for four weeks. Twenty-four hours after the last treatment the rats were sacrificed using anesthetic ether. Testes were removed and weighed. Apoptosis was studied by using the Feulgen reaction on 5 μ thin paraffin sections of testis. Testicular homogenate was prepared and centrifuged. The supernatant was used for the estimation of extent of lipid peroxidation and antioxidant defense status. There was significant reduction in body weight; and in testicular weight and diameter in ethanol treated rats. Extent of germ cell apoptosis was significantly high in ethanol treated rats. Ethanol treated rats showed significantly high tissue TBARS level and glutathione S-transferase activity; and low tissue ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities. Chronic ethanol administration resulted in high oxidative stress in the testes either due to increased extent of lipid peroxidation or due to decreased antioxidant defenses, and thereby induces germ cell apoptosis leading to testicular atrophy.
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D. M. Vasudevan, Maneesh, M., Jayalekshmi, H., Dutta, S., and Chakrabarti, A., “Role of oxidative stress in ethanol induced germ cell apoptosis - An experimental study in rats”, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, vol. 20, pp. 62-67, 2005.