The ability of vitamin E succinate and ellagic acid to modulate 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced developmental toxicity and oxidative damage in embryonic/fetal and placental tissues was studied in C57BL/6J mice. Vitamin E succinate (100 mg/kg per day) and ellagic acid(6 mg/kg per day) were administered by gavage to groups of pregnant mice on days 10, 11 and 12 of gestation and 40 mg vitamin E succinate/kg or 3 mg ellagic acid/kg on day 13 of gestation. A number of animals from the vitamin E succinate and ellagic acid treated groups also received 39 μg TCDD/kg on day 12 of gestation, 2 h prior to vitamin E succinate or ellagic acid treatment. Groups of treated animals were terminated on day 14 of gestation, and the biomarkers of oxidative stress, including superoxide anion production and the induction of lipid peroxidation and DNA-single strand breaks (SSB), were determined in whole embryonic and placental tissues homogenates. Groups of treated animals were also killed on day 18 of gestation for investigation of the fetotoxic and teratogenic effects as well as effects on the placentae. Vitamin E succinate and ellagic acid significantly decreased TCDD-induced fetal growth retardation fetal death and placental weight reduction, with no significant ameliorating effects on TCDD-induced malformations including cleft palate and hydronephrosis. Vitamin E succinate treatment resulted in decreases of 77-88%, 70-87%, and 21-47% in the production of superoxide anion, lipid peroxidation and BNA-SSB, respectively, in embryonic and placental tissues, while ellagic acid caused 47-98%, 79-93%, and 37-53% decreases, respectively, in these parameters. These results indicate that TCDD-induced fetal death and fetal and placental weight reductions in C57BL/6J mice may be due to oxidative damage induced by TCDD, and ellagic acid and vitamin E succinate provide protection against those effects. Ellagic acid provided better protection than vitamin E succinate against TCDD-induced fetal growth retardation and increases in lipid peroxidation in embryonic and placental tissues.
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