The Effects of Di(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate Exposure and Selenium Nutrition on Sertoli Cell Vimentin Structure and Germ-Cell Apoptosis in Rat Testis

Erkekoglu P., ZEYBEK N. D., Giray B., Asan E., Hincal F.

ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY, vol.62, no.3, pp.539-547, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


This study aimed to investigate the effects of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) on Sertoli-cell vimentin filaments and germ-cell apoptosis in testes of pubertal rats at different selenium (Se) status. Se deficiency was produced in 3-weeks old Sprague-Dawley rats by feeding them <= 0.05 Se mg/kg diet for 5 weeks, Se supplementation group was on 1 mg Se/kg diet, and DEHP was applied at 1000 mg/kg dose by gavage during the last 10 days of the feeding period. The diet with excess Se did not cause any appreciable alteration in vimentin staining and apoptosis of germ cells, but Se deficiency caused a mild decrease in the intensity of vimentin immunoreactivity and enhanced germ-cell apoptosis significantly (approximately 3-fold, p <0.0033). DEHP exposure caused disruption and collapse of vimentin filaments and significantly induced apoptotic death of germ cells (approximately 8-fold, p<0.0033). In DEHP-exposed Se-deficient animals, compared with the control, collapse of vimentin filaments was more prominent; there was serious damage to the seminiferous epithelium; and a high increment (approximately 25-fold, p<0.0033) in apoptotic germ cells was observed. Thus, Se deficiency exacerbated the toxicity of DEHP on Sertoli cells and spermatogenesis, whereas Se supplementation provided protection. These results put forward the critical role of Se in the modulation of redox status of testicular cells and emphasize the importance of Se status for reproductive health.