Author(s): Plećaš-Solarović Bosiljka, Pešić Vesna, Mirković D, Leposavić Gordana
Keywords:Ethane dimethanesulphonate, rat adrenal cortex, ACTH, isoproterenol, dexamethasone, stereology, corticosterone.
Ethane dimethanesulphonate (EDS), an alkylating agent, caused marked atrophy of the adrenal cortex of adult male rats, in addition to its toxic effect on testicular Leydig cells. The aim of this work was to examine whether a 9-day treatment with ACTH (40 IU/kg/d), isoproterenol (120 g/kg/d) or dexamethasone (0.25 mg/kg/d), which started 4 days prior to intraperitoneal administration of a single dose of EDS (75 mg/kg), affected the morphological changes in the adrenal cortex evoked by EDS alone. The animals were killed 15 days after EDS injection. Stereological analysis revealed that both ACTH and isoproterenol almost completely prevented cortical atrophy induced by EDS. They also considerably stimulated corticosterone secretion in EDS-injected animals. By contrast, in dexamethasone-suppressed rats, the deleterious effect of EDS on adrenocortical cells was augmented. The volume and cellularity of all cortical zones were reduced, but the remaining cells of the zona reticularis displayed considerable hypertrophy, which was probably responsible for the maintenance of corticosterone secretion. These results clearly demonstrate that both ACTH and adrenoceptor stimulation have protective action against the toxic effects of EDS on rat adrenal cortex, whereas dexamethasone exerts an opposite influence.
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