Chemotherapeutic drugs can affect DNA in male germ cells, thereby impacting on the integrity of the genome transmitted to offspring.
Drug metabolizing enzymes can protect cells from xenobiotic insult. We analyzed the expression pattern of such enzymes in isolated round spermatids from rats exposed to drugs used to treat testicular cancer: bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP). The number of isozymes expressed and the overall relative expression values were highest for the glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). Moreover, BEP treatment significantly increased the expression of 8 GSTs and 3 aldehyde dehydrogenases. Increased expression of GST isozymes was confirmed by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Although Gst genes can be targets for epigenetic modifications, promoter DNA methylation was not affected by BEP treatment. As GSTs are involved in drug resistance mechanisms, we hypothesize that BEP induction of GST expression may lead to the survival of damaged germ cells and the production of abnormal sperm.
Delbès G, Chan D, Hales BF, Trasler JM, Robaire B. Are you the author?
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Reference: Reprod Toxicol. 2013 Apr;36:24-32.