Sulforaphane (SFN) is a natural and highly effective antioxidant. Studies suggest that SFN protects cells and tissues against cadmium (Cd) toxicity. This study investigated the protective effect of SFN against oxidative damage in the testes of Kunming mice exposed to cadmium, and explored the possible molecular mechanisms involved. Cadmium greatly reduced the serum testosterone levels in mice, reduced sperm motility, total sperm count, and increased the sperm deformity rate. Cadmium also reduces superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) and glutathione (GSH) levels and increases malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations. SFN intervention improved sperm quality, serum testosterone, and antioxidant levels. Both mRNA and protein expression of mouse testicular nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) was reduced in cadmium-treated group. Furthermore, the downstream genes of Nrf2, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase (γ-GCS), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1) were also decreased in cadmium-treated group. SFN intervention increases the expression of these genes. Sulforaphane prevents cadmium-induced testicular damage, probably via activation of Nrf2/ARE signaling.
Sulforaphane Prevents Testicular Damage in Kunming Mice Exposed to Cadmium via Activation of Nrf2/ARE Signaling Pathways.