Journal of toxicology and environmental health

Effects of selected chemicals on the glutathione status in the male reproductive system of rats.

PMID 2299686


Previous studies have suggested a significant role for reproductive tract glutathione in protecting against chemical-induced germ-cell mutations. Therefore, a number of compounds were tested for their ability to perturb glutathione levels in the testes and epididymides as well as liver following single acute dosages to rats. Phorone (250 mg/kg), isophorone (500 mg/kg), and diethyl maleate (500 mg/kg) significantly reduced glutathione in the liver and in both reproductive organs examined. Methyl iodide (100 mg/kg), trimethyl phosphate (600 mg/kg), naphthalene (500 mg/kg), acetaminophen (1500 mg/kg), and pentachlorophenol (25 mg/kg) affected hepatic and epididymal glutathione, but had little or no effect on testicular levels. The ability of isophorone to enhance the covalent binding of tritiated ethyl methanesulfonate (3H-EMS) to spermatocytes was assessed. Perturbation of reproductive tract glutathione by isophorone treatment significantly enhanced the extent of 3H-EMS-induced binding to sperm heads. The temporal pattern of ethylations in sperm heads was consistent with the stage of sperm development known to be susceptible to ethylations by EMS. Therefore, chemical-induced lowering of glutathione in the male reproductive tract may be a mechanism for potentiation of chemical-induced germ-cell mutations.