Environmental contamination of drinking water with chromium (Cr) has been increasing in more than 30 cities in the United States. Previous studies from our group have shown that Cr affects reproductive functions in female Sprague Dawley rats. Although it is impossible to completely remove Cr from the drinking water, it is imperative to develop effective intervention strategies to inhibit Cr-induced deleterious health effects. Edaravone (EDA), a potential inhibitor of free radicals, has been clinically used to treat cancer and cardiac ischemia. This study evaluated the efficacy of EDA against Cr-induced ovarian toxicity. Results showed that maternal exposure to CrVI in rats increased follicular atresia, decreased steroidogenesis, and delayed puberty in F1 offspring. CrVI increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidant (AOX) enzyme levels in the ovary. CrVI increased follicle atresia by increased expression of cleaved caspase 3, and decreased expression of Bcl2 and Bcl2l1 in the ovary. EDA mitigated or inhibited the effects of CrVI on follicle atresia, pubertal onset, steroid hormone levels, and AOX enzyme activity, as well as the expression of Bcl2 and Bcl2l1 in the ovary. In a second study, CrVI treatment was withdrawn, and F1 rats were injected with estradiol (E2) (10 μg in PBS/ethanol per 100 g body weight) for a period of 2 wk to evaluate whether E2 treatment will restore Cr-induced depletion of AOX enzymes. E2 restored CrVI-induced depletion of glutathione peroxidase 1, catalase, thioredoxin 2, and peroxiredoxin 3 in the ovary. This is the first study to demonstrate the protective effects of EDA against any toxicant in the ovary.
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Vol. 91 • No. 1