Author(s): Theresa Ezedom* and Samuel Ogheneovo Asagba
This study examined the effects of Cadmium (Cd) and Arsenic (As) through a controlled food chain on testes antioxidant status, protein concentration and expression of mRNA of Bax and Bcl - 2 genes.
Catfish exposed to both metals at a concentration of 0.4 mg/ metal / 100 mL for 1 month served as source of protein for the experimental diet which rats were exposed to for 1 and 3 months. The metal burden on the feed and testes, activities of antioxidant enzymes, mRNA expression of Bax and Bcl - 2 in the testes were then carried out using standard procedures.
The activities of the antioxidants enzymes and reduced glutathione (GSH) were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased after 3 months. Testes total protein and MDA levels were significantly (p < 0.05) increased after both periods of exposure. Increase in the level of mRNA expression of Bax gene and a decrease in Bcl - 2 gene in the test groups compared to the control after 3 months of exposure were recorded.
These results showed exposure to these metals through the food chain increased oxidative damage leading to alteration in the expression of Bax / Bcl - 2 ratios. These have significant consequences in the induction of apoptosis and other associated biochemical cascade.