In vitro study of doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress in spermatogonia and immature sertoli cells

  • Publication date : 2018-04-13


Tremblay AR, Delbes G. In vitro study of doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress in spermatogonia and immature sertoli cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 13. pii: S0041-008X(18)30149-2. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2018.04.014. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29660436.


Pediatric chemotherapy treatments can impair long-term male fertility. Unfortunately, no fertility preservation solution is available for pre-pubertal boys. Studies suggest that doxorubicin, used against pediatric cancers, induces oxidative stress in the testis. However, the targeted testicular cell types remain unknown. The goal of this study was to determine whether doxorubicin can induce oxidative stress in rat spermatogonia (GC-6Spg) and immature Sertoli (Ser-W3) cell lines, and to assess their protection by antioxidants. Using the MTT assay, we have shown that doxorubicin induces a time- and dose-dependent cytotoxicity in these two cell lines, Ser-W3 being more sensitive than GC-6Spg. After 3 h of treatment, reactive oxygen species and nuclear 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine increase in Ser-W3, but not in GC-6Spg. Moreover, after 6 h of treatment, intracellular reduced glutathione levels decrease significantly in Ser-W3 cells. These results show that doxorubicin induces oxidative stress in the Ser-W3 cell line. However, a depletion in glutathione does not affect their survival, and supplementation only offers a weak protection after exposure to doxorubicin, suggesting that the glutathione system is not essential for Ser-W3 cell line's defense against doxorubicin. On the other hand, among four antioxidants selected from the literature, none reduces the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in Ser-W3 cells. Together, our data suggest that oxidative stress may not be a major pathway for doxorubicin's cytotoxicity in GC-6Spg and Ser-W3 lines. This study provides new insights in the mechanisms by which chemotherapies affect the pre-pubertal testis, with the long-term goal to help improve the quality of life of pediatric cancer survivors.