Study of liver function and expression of some detoxification genes in the male rats exposed to methyl-tertiary butyl ether
Background and purpose: Methyl-tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is an additive solvent that was adopted in reformulated gasoline to reduce environmental pollutants. It is still used in Middle East countries. It is suggested that the toxicity of MTBE may be attributed to induction of oxidative stress. Study of alteration of end organ markers and mRNA due to MTBE exposure is potentially important for public health programs. In this study we investigate the effect(s) of MTBE on liver function indices and expression of some genes involved in cellular detoxification process.
Materials and methods: A total of 25 adult Wistar male rats were randomly divided into five equal experimental groups after acclimation period (10 days). They received 0, 400, 800 and 1600 mg/kg/day MTBE in peanut oil by gavages for 30 consecutive days. The final group received no MTBE and peanut oil. After that the rats were euthanized and blood samples were collected for the assay of liver function indicators. Livers were immediately removed to determine the mRNA levels of three genes belonging to glutathione S-transferase family (Gstt1, Gstm1, and Gstp1).
Results: Statistical analysis showed that in the MTBE treated groups, serum albumin
(P =0.007) and total protein (P= 0.002) significantly increased, compared with the control groups. The other liver function indices and the mRNA levels of the examined genes did not show significant alteration in MTBE treated rats.
Conclusion: The present study revealed that exposure to MTBE has significant effect on the increasing of serum albumin and total protein, and it has no effect on the mRNA levels of the Gstt1, Gstm1, and Gstp1 genes.