Gender-related differences and the regulation by testosterone of glutathione S-transferase were studied in rat jejunum. We analyzed enzyme activity and the relative content of GST subunits. Four experimental groups of adult rats were studied: normal males, castrated males, castrated males injected with testosterone and normal females. Glutathione S-transferase activity was assayed using 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene as substrates. Differences in subunit composition among groups were evaluated by western blot analysis. The results demonstrated that 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene conjugation rate is higher in normal males than in normal females and castrated males. Testosterone administration to castrated males raised the activity up to the level observed in normal males. No significant difference in glutathione S-transferase activity towards 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene was observed among groups. Western blot analysis revealed that males and females differ in all subunits tested that is, rGSTA2, rGSTM1, rGSTM2 and rGSTP1, and that testosterone regulates the content of rGSTM1, rGSTM2 and rGSTP1. In conclusion, jejunal GST shows a gender-dependent regulation affecting both enzyme activity and subunit composition, and testosterone appears to be one of the factors involved.
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