Effects on the Local Immunity in the Testis by Exposure to Di-(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate (DEHP) in Mice
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Exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) has been reported to induce spermatogenic disturbance through oxidant stress and affect the immune system as an adjuvant. However, the effect of DEHP on the testicular immune microenvironment has not yet been investigated. In the present study, we examined the testicular immune microenvironment after exposure to doses of DEHP, previously identified as no-observed-adverse-effect levels. Adult male mice were administered food containing 0%, 0.01% or 0.1% DEHP and then testes were analyzed. The results showed that a slight but significant spermatogenic disturbance appeared in the 0.1% DEHP group but not in the 0.01% DEHP group at 8 weeks. It was also demonstrated that lymphocytes and F4/80- and MHC class II- positive cells were significantly increased with the elevation of IL-10 and IFN-γ mRNA expressions in the testes of not only the 0.1% DEHP group but also the 0.01% DEHP group at 8 weeks. Histochemical analyses involving horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as a tracer showed that a little blood-borne HRP had infiltrated into the lumen of a few seminiferous tubules beyond the blood-testis-barrier in both the 0.1% and 0.01% DEHP groups at 8 weeks. This indicates that a dose of DEHP that has little effects on spermatogenesis can change the testicular immune microenvironment with functional damage of the blood-testis barrier.
- Journal of Reproduction and Development
Journal of Reproduction and Development 59(5), 485-490, 2013
THE SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT