The major objective of the present study was to determine the ability of a triazole fungicide tebuconazole to induce cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases, oxidative stress, and endocrine-disrupting activity using male rats treated with tebuconazole at 10, 25, and 50 mg/kg p.o. once daily for 28 days. In liver, tebuconazole dose-dependently increased microsomal contents of cytochrome P450 and cytochrome b5 and the activities of NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase, 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, methoxyresorufin O-demethylase, pentoxyresorufin O-dealkylase, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase, aniline hydroxylase, and erythromycin N-demethylase. In kidney, tebuconazole increased 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase activity without affecting other monooxygenase activities. In marked contrast to liver and kidney, tebuconazole decreased testicular 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, methoxyresorufin O-demethylase, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase, aniline hydroxylase, and erythromycin N-demethylase activities. The results of immunoblot analysis of liver microsomes of controls and tebuconazole-treated rats revealed that tebuconazole induced CYP1A1/2, CYP2B1/2, CYP2E1, and CYP3A proteins in liver. Additions of tebuconazole to liver microsomes inhibited microsomal 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase activity in vitro (IC50 = 1.50–1.69 µM). Treatment of rats with tebuconazole decreased glutathione content and increased glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities in liver; increased superoxide dismutase activities in kidney and testis; but decreased glutathione S-transferase activity in testis. Treatments with tebuconazole decreased serum testosterone concentration and cauda epididymal sperm count. The present study demonstrates that tebuconazole induces a multiplicity of CYPs and oxidative stress in liver; inhibits testicular P450 and glutathione S-transferase activities; and produces anti-androgenic effects in male rats.
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