Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 77, Issue 5, pp 280–284 | Cite as

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) induces oxidative stress in the epididymis and epididymal sperm of adult rats

  • C. Latchoumycandane
  • K. C. Chitra
  • P. P. Mathur
Molecular Toxicology


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is one of the most potent environmental contaminants, which has been shown to induce oxidative stress in testis and epididymal sperm of rats. However, the nature and mechanism of action of TCDD on the epididymis is not clear. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether induction of oxidative stress in epididymal sperm was direct effect of TCDD on epididymis. In the present studies, TCDD (0.1, 1.0 and 10 µg/kg body weight per day) was administered orally to rats for 4 days. Twenty-four hours after the last treatment the animals were killed using anesthetic ether. Both epididymides were dissected out and epididymal sperm were collected by cutting the epididymides into small pieces in Ham's F-12 medium at 35°C. The epididymal sperm and caput, corpus and cauda epididymides were homogenized and used for biochemical studies. Epididymal sperm counts did not decrease in the rats treated with TCDD. Administration of TCDD increased the production of reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide while the activities of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase were found to be decreased in the epididymal sperm as well as in cauda epididymides. Lipid peroxidation also increased in the epididymal sperm and in the various regions of the epididymides after exposure to TCDD. The results indicated that TCDD induces oxidative stress in the epididymis and epididymal sperm by decreasing the antioxidant enzymes through induction of reactive oxygen species. Thus, the adverse effects of TCDD on the epididymal sperm were due to direct effect of TCDD on epididymis.


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) Oxidative stress Sperm Epididymis Lipid peroxidation 



The authors acknowledge Dr. Stephen Safe, Texas, USA, for the generous gift of TCDD, and the staff of the Bioinformatics Center, Pondicherry University for various facilities. C.L. acknowledges the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, for a Senior Research Fellowship; K.C.C acknowledges Lady Tata Memorial Trust, Mumbai, India, for a Junior Scholarship, and P.P.M. acknowledges the Population Council, New York for financial assistance (Grant Nos. B99.047P-9/ICMC and B99.048R/ICMC).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Latchoumycandane
    • 1
  • K. C. Chitra
    • 1
  • P. P. Mathur
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesPondicherry UniversityPondicherryIndia

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