The purpose of this study is to examine germ cells apoptosis and reduction of spermatogenesis which might be induced by deltamethrin (DM). Furthermore, the study is performed to determine if the apoptosis is mediated by the signaling proteins: eNOS, JNK1 and androgen receptor (AR). Fifty-four male SD rats were divided into nine groups (six rats each): blank control group; corn oil treated group; DM treated group; saline treated group; DM+saline treated group; DM+histamine (eNOS specific agonist) treated group; 50% ethanol treated group; DM+50% ethanol group and DM+quercetagetin (JNK1 specific inhibitor) treated group. The experiment was conducted for 15 days. Apoptosis was evaluated by TUNEL; S-nitrosylation of JNK1 was examined by the biotin switch assay; eNOS expression and Ser650 phosphorylation of AR were assessed by immunoblotting and immunohistochemical analysis, respectively. DM treated group showed notable apoptotic cells and reduced production of sperm, while DM plus histamine group and DM plus quercetagetin group showed remarkably decreased apoptosis and improved production of sperm. Administration of DM inhibited spermatogenesis, the activity of eNOS and S-nitrosylation of JNK1. Meanwhile, phosphorylation of AR was shown to be elevated. Histamine and quercetagetin were also examined to have a further confirmation. It is suggested DM-induced germ cells apoptosis and reduction of sperm production were mediated by eNOS-JNK1-AR signaling pathway.
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