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Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Carnitine-mediated antioxidant enzyme activity and Bcl2 expression involves peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α in mouse testis

Vikas Kumar Roy A , Rachna Verma B and Amitabh Krishna B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Zoology, Mizoram University, Aziawl 796004, Mizoram, India.

B Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, Varanasi, India.

C Corresponding author. Email: akrishna_ak@yahoo.co.in

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(6) 1057-1063 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15336
Submitted: 19 August 2015  Accepted: 13 February 2016   Published: 11 April 2016

Abstract

The protective effects of carnitine have been attributed to inhibition of apoptosis, alleviating oxidative stress and DNA repair mechanism by decreasing oxidative radicles. Carnitine also increases mitochondrial biogenesis via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC1α). The role of carnitine in testicular PGC1α expression has not been documented. We hypothesised that the effects of carnitine as an antioxidant, inhibitor of apoptosis and controller of steroidogenesis in mouse testis may involve PGC1α as a regulator. The present study was designed to evaluate the localisation of PGC1α and the effects of carnitine treatment on the expression of PGC1α, Bcl2 and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)) in mouse testis and serum testosterone concentrations. PGC1α was primarily immunolocalised to the Leydig cells and primary spermatocytes. Western blot analysis showed that carnitine (50 mg kg–1 and 100 mg kg–1 for 7 days) significantly increased PGC1α and Bcl2 expression in the testis in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, carnitine treatment significantly increased antioxidant enzyme (CAT, SOD and GPx) levels. The carnitine-induced changes in PGC1α in the testis were significantly correlated with changes in serum testosterone concentrations, as well as with changes in Bcl2 expression and antioxidant enzyme activity in the testis, as evaluated by electrophoresis. Therefore, the results of the present study suggest that carnitine treatment of mice increases PGC1α levels in the testis, which may, in turn, regulate steroidogenesis by increasing expression of Bcl2 and antioxidant enzymes.

Additional keywords: apoptosis, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, oxidative stress, speroxide dismutase, testosterone.


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