Vitamin E alleviates phoxim-induced toxic effects on intestinal oxidative stress, barrier function, and morphological changes in rats

Sun Y, Zhang J, Song W, Shan A


Phoxim is an organic phosphorus pesticide that remains easily in the environment, such as human food and animal feed. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of vitamin E on phoxim-induced oxidative stress in the intestinal tissues of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to a control group and three treatment groups: treatment group 1 (phoxim: 20 mg/kg·BW), treatment group 2 (phoxim: 180 mg/kg·BW), and treatment 3 (vitamin E + phoxim: 200 mg/kg·BW + 180 mg/kg·BW). Phoxim was given by gavage administration once a day for 28 days. The results showed that phoxim significantly reduced jejunum villus height in rats (P < 0.05), and decreased the mRNA expression of junction protein genes of rats, including Occlidin and Claudin-4 (P < 0.05). Phoxim reduced GSH content and T-AOC level in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0.05). The mRNA expression levels of oxidative stress-related genes (Nrf2 and GPx2) were decreased. The mRNA expression of SOD was significantly increased. In addition, phoxim increased the level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in jejunum mucosa and significantly reduced the level of IL-8 in ileum mucosas, while significantly increased TNF-α secretion. The mRNA expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 were significantly decreased, and mRNA expression of TNF-α was significantly increased (P < 0.05). Phoxim also increased the DNA expression of total cecal bacteria and Escherichia coli, inhibited the DNA expression of Lactobacillus and destroyed the intestinal barrier. Two hundred milligrams per kilogram BW vitamin E reduced the effect of phoxim on intestinal structure, alleviated the oxidative stress in intestinal tissue, and decreased the level of TNF-α. The mRNA expressions of antioxidative stress genes (SOD and GPx2) were significantly increased. The DNA expression level of Lactobacillus was significantly increased. In conclusion, vitamin E helped reduce the toxicity of organophosphate pesticides, such as phoxim on rat intestinal tissue.

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