Diethyl hexyl phthalate-induced changes in insulin signaling molecules and the protective role of antioxidant vitamins in gastrocnemius muscle of adult male rat

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Diethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) is an endocrine disruptor, it influences various organ systems in human beings and experimental animals. DEHP reduced the serum testosterone and increased the blood glucose, estradiol, T3 and T4 in rats. However, the effect of DEHP on insulin signaling and glucose oxidation in skeletal muscle is not known. Adult male albino rats were divided into four groups: Group I: Control; Groups II and III: DEHP treated (dissolved in olive oil at a dose of 10 and 100 mg/kg body weight, respectively, once daily through gastric intubation for 30 days); and Group IV: DEHP (100 mg/kg body weight) plus vitamins E (50 mg/kg body weight) and C (100 mg/kg body weight) dissolved in olive oil and distilled water, respectively, once daily through gastric intubation for 30 days. On completion of treatment, animals were euthanized and perfused (whole body); gastrocnemius muscle was dissected out and subjected to assessment of various parameters. DEHP treatment increased the H2O2, hydroxyl radical levels and lipid peroxidation which disrupt the membrane integrity and insulin receptor. DEHP impaired the insulin signal transduction, glucose uptake and oxidation through decreased expression of plasma membrane GLUT4, which may partly be responsible for the elevation of fasting blood glucose level. The present study suggests that DEHP exposure affects glucose oxidation in skeletal muscle and is mediated through enhanced lipid peroxidation, impaired insulin signaling and GLUT4 expression in plasma membrane. Antioxidant vitamins (C and E) have a protective role against the adverse effect of DEHP.

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