Antioxidant enzymes activity, lipid peroxidation, oxidative damage in the testis and epididymis, and steroidogenesis in rats after co-exposure to atrazine and ethanol

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Concomitant alcohol use and exposure to xenobiotics can adversely affect gonadal functions. This study investigated the oxidative status of the testis and epididymis and steroidogenesis of rats co-exposed to ethanol (EtoH, 5 mg kg−1 b.wt.) and atrazine (ATZ, 50, 100, 300 mg kg−1 b.wt.) for 3 weeks. The activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, as well as the concentrations of glutathione and malondialdehyde, as indicators of oxidative stress were measured in the homogenates of the testis and epididymis. Testosterone and cholesterol concentrations as well as 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD) activity were assayed in the plasma and testis respectively. After the administration of EtoH alone, or in combination with different doses of ATZ, oxidative damage as evident by malondialdehyde level was not observed in both the testis and epididymis. The combine exposure group showed dose-dependent decrease in plasma testosterone and testis cholesterol level and increase in testis 17β-HSD activity compared to the EtoH group. Furthermore, the testes and epididymis of the EtoH-exposed rats treated with high dose of ATZ had severe histopathological damage. Therefore, ATZ-exposed alcohol-treated rats have histological damage of the testis and epididymis and lower testosterone level than EtoH-treated rats.

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