Effects of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate on testicular oxidant/antioxidant status in selenium-deficient and selenium-supplemented rats



Di(ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), the most widely used plasticizer, was investigated to determine whether an oxidative stress process was one of the underlying mechanisms for its testicular toxicity potential. To evaluate the effects of selenium (Se), status on the toxicity of DEHP was further objective of this study, as Se is known to play a critical role in testis and in the modulation of intracellular redox equilibrium. Se deficiency was produced in 3-weeks-old Sprague–Dawley rats feeding them ≤0.05 mg Se /kg diet for 5 weeks, and Se-supplementation group was on 1 mg Se/kg diet. DEHP-treated groups received 1000 mg/kg dose by gavage during the last 10 days of the feeding period. Activities of antioxidant selenoenzymes [glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1), glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4), thioredoxin reductase (TrxR)], catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione S-transferase (GST); concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and thus the GSH/GSSG redox ratio; and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) levels were measured. DEHP was found to induce oxidative stress in rat testis, as evidenced by significant decrease in GSH/GSSG redox ratio (>10-fold) and marked increase in TBARS levels, and its effects were more pronounced in Se-deficient rats with ∼18.5-fold decrease in GSH/GSSG redox ratio and a significant decrease in GPx4 activity, whereas Se supplementation was protective by providing substantial elevation of redox ratio and reducing the lipid peroxidation. These findings emphasized the critical role of Se as an effective redox regulator and the importance of Se status in protecting testicular tissue from the oxidant stressor activity of DEHP. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 98–107, 2014.