Vulnerability of Prepubertal Mice Testis to Iron Induced Oxidative Dysfunctions In Vivo and Functional Implications

Document Type : Original Article


Biochemistry and Nutrition Department, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore -570020, India


The present study describes the susceptibility of prepubertal testis of mice to prooxidant induced oxidative impairments both under in vitro and in vivo exposure conditions.

Materials and methods
Following in vitro exposure to iron (5,10 and 25 M), oxidative response measured in terms of lipid peroxidation and hydroperoxide levels in testis of pre pubertal mice (4 wk) was more robust compared to that of pubertal mice (6 wk).

Further, in an in vivo study, pre pubertal mice administered (i.p) sub lethal doses (12.5, 25 and 50mg/100g bw/d, 5d) of Iron dextran, showed significant induction of oxidative stress response in testis cytosol and mitochondria manifested as lipid peroxidation, generation of reactive oxygen species, hydroperoxide levels and enhanced protein carbonyl levels (a measure of protein oxidation). Diminished levels of GSH and total thiols in both cytosol and mitochondria of testis suggested an altered redox state. Significant perturbations in the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione transferase, glutathione peroxidase and SOD were discernible suggesting the ongoing oxidative stress in vivo. These oxidative impairments were accompanied by functional implications in testis as reflected in the altered activities of dehydrogenases and reduced activities of both 3 - and 17 -hydroxysteriod dehydrogenase.

Collectively, these data provide an account of the susceptibility of prepubertal testis to iron-induced oxidative stress, associated functional consequences and this model is being further exploited for understanding the implications on the physiology of testis and consequent effect on fertility.