Prof. Hossam MM Arafa
L-carnitine alleviates endocrine disruption, inflammatory burst and oxidative stress in carbendazim-challenged male rats via upregulation of testicular StAR and FABP9, and downregulation of P38-MAPK pathways. ABSTRACT We have addressed in the current study the potential of L-carnitine (LC) to extenuate the reproductive toxic insults of carbendazim (CBZ) in male rats, and the molecular mechanisms whereby carnitine would modify the spermatogenic and steroidogenic derangements invoked by the endocrine disruptor. Herein, animals received daily doses of carbendazim (100 mg/kg) by gavage for 8 weeks. Another CBZ-challenged group was co-supplemented with LC (500 mg/kg, IP) twice weekly for 8 weeks. Sperm quantity and quality (morphology, motility and viability), serum testosterone and gonadotropins, and thyroid hormones' levels were assessed. Serum tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) concentrations were determined by ELISA. Oxidant/anti-oxidant status in rat testis was investigated via measuring testicular contents of malonedialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH), as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Immunohistochemical localizations of the junctional protein; occludin, and inflammatory markers; inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-B) were further analyzed. A host of transduction genes that regulate spermatogenic and steroidogenic pathways, and their encoded proteins namely; Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory Protein (stAR), Fatty acid binding protein 9 (FABP9) and P38-mitogen activated protein kinase (P38-MAPK) were assessed by real time quantitative (RT-qPCR) and Western blot. LC improved rat spermiogram, testicular histological alterations and endocrine perturbances, and modulated genes' expressions and their respective proteins. In conclusion, LC effects appear to reside for the most part on its endocrine-preserving, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties through a myriad of interlaced signal transductions that ultimately recapitulated its beneficial effects on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis. Keywords: Carbendazim, L-carnitine, spermatogenesis, steroidogenesis, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory.