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Toxicology. 2002 Feb 28;171(2-3):127-35.

The effect of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on the antioxidant system in mitochondrial and microsomal fractions of rat testis.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University, - 605 014, Pondicherry, India.


The ability of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) to induce oxidative stress in hepatic and some extrahepatic tissues of animals has been reported. The precise nature and mechanism of action of TCDD on the male reproductive system is not clear. In the present study, we have investigated the induction of oxidative stress in the testis of rat after exposure to low doses of TCDD. TCDD (1, 10, and 100 ng/kg body weight per day) was administered orally to the rat for 45 days. After 24 h of the last treatment the rats were killed using anesthetic ether. The weights of the testis, epididymis, seminal vesicles and ventral prostate decreased while the body weight remained unchanged in the rats administered with TCDD. Mitochondrial and microsomal fractions of the testis were obtained by the method of differential centrifugation. The activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase decreased significantly in the animals treated with TCDD in a dose-dependent manner in the mitochondrial and microsomal fractions of rat testis. The levels of hydrogen peroxide generation (H(2)O(2)) and lipid peroxidation increased in mitochondrial, and microsomal fractions of the testis. The results suggested that the low doses of TCDD elicit depletion of antioxidant enzymes and concomitant increase in the levels of H(2)O(2) and lipid peroxidation differentially in mitochondrial and microsomal fractions of rat testis. In conclusion the adverse effect of TCDD on male reproduction could be due to induction of oxidative stress.

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