Author(s): Ruffoli R, Carpi A, Giambelluca MA, Grasso L, Scavuzzo MC,
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Abstract Lipofuscin is an autofluorescent and undegradable material, which accumulates in tissues during ageing and under different types of stress. Among these, oxidative stress represents a major trigger for lipofuscin formation. However, prolonged noise exposure is also an effective stressful stimuli. Diazepam may inhibit lipofuscinogenesis in liver and prevent the noise-induced reduction of the steroidogenesis in the adrenal gland. The aim of the study was to ascertain whether chronic noise exposure causes lipofuscin accumulation in mouse testis, and to evaluate the effects of diazepam administration. Eight-week old mice were either exposed for 6 weeks (6 h day(-1)) to white-noise (group A), or received diazepam (3 mg kg(-1), i.p.) before noise exposures (group B), while a further group was used as control (group C). Light fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy revealed lipofuscin in large amounts in the Leydig cells in mice of group A, which concomitantly had low serum testosterone levels; pre-treatment with diazepam occluded both effects. The present study indicates that: (i) chronic noise exposure causes lipofuscin accumulation at the level of the Leydig cells and a decrease in testosterone; (ii) all these effects are suppressed by pre-treatment with diazepam. As the Leydig cells represent the only cellular type of the interstitial testicular tissue having peripheral benzodiazepine receptors, these results could be explained by the capacity of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptors to prevent reactive oxygen species damage and to increase the resistance of these cells to oxidative stress.
This article was published in Andrologia
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research