Di (n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), a potential endocrine disruptor, adversely affects male reproductive function via activation of oxidative stress. This study was conducted to investigate the protective effects of vitamin E (Vit E) and selenium (Se) on DBP-induced testicular damage. Prepubertal rats were given 500 mg DBP/kg alone and in combination with Vit E (250 mg/kg) & Se (1 mg/kg) by oral gavage for 7 days and sacrificed at day 1 (D1), D30 and D45 after administration. Testicular section of DBP-treated rats showed markedly distorted seminiferous tubules, no spermatids and a reduction in the thickness of their epithelial lining, compared to the control. In contrast, co-administration of Vit E & Se protected the seminiferous tubules and regained its normal architecture to the control level. To clarify whether spermatogenic cells differentiate into mature spermatids in the treated testes at the end of first wave of spermatogenesis, immunostaining for Hsc 70t, a specific marker for spermatids, was carried out. As a result, the increase in maturation of spermatids in Vit E & Se+DBP-treated testes, compared to the DBP-treated, was demonstrated. For example, the most advanced spermatids in the tubules from rats in the DBP-treated groups were steps 8-9 at D45 of recovery, while those of the DBP+Vit E & Se-treated were steps 14-19 that were more or less similar to the control group. These results show for the first time that prepubertal administration of Vit E & Se have protective effects on DBP-induced testicular damage and restoration of normal spermatogenesis.
Di(n-butyl) phthalate, Vitamin E, Selenium, Prepubertal rats, Testis