Zinc Protects against MDMA-Induced Apoptosis of Sertoli Cells in Mouse via Attenuation of Caspase-3

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Genetic, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

2 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Cellular and Molecular Medicine Institute, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran


Background: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) disrupts function of the endocrine system and different
organs such as heart, blood vessels, kidney, liver and nervous systems. This study was conducted to evaluate
impact of MDMA on apoptosis and Zinc in the MDMA-induced apoptosis of cultured Sertoli cells by measuring
Caspase-3 gene expression.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, Sertoli cells were incubated with MDMA (0, 0.5, 1, 3, 5 mM),
Zinc (0, 8, 16, 32, 64 μM) and Zinc (8 μM) prior to adding MDMA (5 mM) for 24 and 48 hours. MTT assay was
used for evaluating impacts of these conditions on the viability of Sertoli cells. Caspase-3 gene expression level was
detected using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) in all of the tested groups.
Results: Finding showed that cellular viability was decreased and level of Caspase-3 mRNA was increased in MDMA
treated cells. Additionally, pre-treatment with Zinc (8 μM) attenuated MDMA-induced apoptosis and down-regulated
caspase-3. The mean of caspase-3 mRNA level (fold change ± SE) was 3.98 ± 1.18, 0.31 ± 0.28, and 1.72 ± 0.28 in respectively
MDMA (5 mM), Zinc (8 μM), and Zinc+MDMA groups vs. control group. The mean of Caspase-3 mRNA
(fold change) was not statistically different in the tested groups (P>0.05), unless MDMA (5 mM) group (P = 0.008).
Conclusion: We suggest that MDMA toxicity could be involved in apoptosis of Sertoli cells. In addition, Zinc could
reduce MDMA-induced apoptosis by down-regulation of Caspase-3 mRNA levels.