To explore the function of Bushen Kangshuai Tang (BKT), a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, in alleviating oxidative stress-induced reproductive defects in organism nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
The L4-larvae were cultured with 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of BKT with the final concentration of 0.33 g/mL. Ultraviolet irradiation [20 J/(m 2·min)], heat-shock (36 ℃, 2 h), and paraquat treatment (2 mmol/L, 2 h) were exerted as the stresses. Reproduction was assayed by the egg number in uterus, brood size, and generation time.
Ultraviolet irradiation, heat-shock, and paraquat treatment could significantly reduce egg number in uterus and brood size, increase generation time, and suppress activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase of the treated wild-type N2 nematodes. Administration of BKT did not cause toxic or altered effects on reproduction under wild-type background in C. elegans. However, BKT administration at higher concentrations could not only effectively alleviate the reproductive defects induced by ultraviolet irradiation, heat-shock, and paraquat treatment, but also increase the catalase and superoxide dismutase activities suppressed by ultraviolet irradiation, heat-shock, and paraquat treatment as compared with the control. Moreover, administration of BKT at higher concentrations could largely ecover the reproductive defects formed in mev-1 mutant nematodes with elevated oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can negatively regulate the reproductive process, and the administration of high concentrations of BKT will largely retrieve the oxidative stress-induced reproductive defects in exposed nematodes.