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Characterization of semen quality, testicular marker enzyme activities and gene expression changes in the blood testis barrier of Kunming mice following acute exposure to zearalenone

Long, Miao, Yang, Shuhua, Dong, Shuang, Chen, Xinliang, Zhang, Yi, He, Jianbin
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.35 pp. 27235-27243
acid phosphatase, acute exposure, alkaline phosphatase, blood serum, body weight, cadherins, enzyme activity, epididymis, estradiol, genes, lactate dehydrogenase, males, messenger RNA, mice, semen quality, sperm quality, testes, testosterone, vimentin, zearalenone
A total of 95 8-week-old male Kunming mice were randomly assigned into five groups and exposed to zearalenone (ZEA) at doses of 25, 50, and 75 mg/kg delivered by intra-peritoneal (i.p.) injection for 5 days. The testis and epididymis indices involving sperm quality and morphology, testis enzyme activities, serum concentrations of testosterone and estrogen, and the expression levels of the three gene and protein of N-cadherin, vimentin, and claudin 11 related to the blood testis barrier (BTB) were analyzed. Results showed that ZEA significantly decreased body weight and semen quality compared to the control group along with increased activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), acid phosphatase (ACP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and reduced serum concentrations of testosterone and estrogen. At the mRNA and protein levels, expression of N-cadherin, vimentin, and claudin 11 significantly increased; however, the mRNA and protein of N-cad expression decreased. These data suggest acute exposure to ZEA reduces sperm quality and significantly decreases the concentration of serum testosterone and estradiol. In addition, the activities of the testis marker enzymes and associated mRNA and protein expressions of the BTB were also significantly affected. Our results demonstrated that ZEA has a significant impact on the reproductive parameters of male mice which showed compensatory response to strengthen the barrier function of the BTB following ZEA exposure.