Background: Glucocorticoids (GCs) exert a wide range of anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and antineoplastic activities. The aim of our investigation was to elucidate the effect of dexamethasone, a synthetic GC, on polyamine metabolism in the rat thymus.
Methods: Male albino Wistar rats, weighing 180–230 g, were divided into two groups: control and experimental. The experimental group received dexamethasone intraperitoneally for 3 days, in a daily dose of 4 mg/animal. The last dose of the hormone was applied on the 3rd day, 1 h before killing. The control group received 0.9% NaCl instead of the hormone. The animals were killed by decapitation. The thymus was removed quickly and rinsed with ice-cold saline. Polyamines were extracted using butanol. The amount of polyamines was investigated by electrophoresis. For the estimation of polyamine oxidase (PAO) activity, 10% water homogenate was prepared.
Results: Our results suggested that dexamethasone supplementation of experimental animals for 3 days significantly decreased the spermine (Sp) and spermidine (Spd) levels in rat thymus tissue (Sp Control, 362.56±25.33 nmol/g wet weight; Sp Exp. Group, 313.01±21.16 nmol/g wet weight; Spd Control, 673.81±30.95 nmol/g wet weight; Spd Exp. Group, 410.21±17.26 nmol/g wet weight). PAO activity significantly decreased under hormone influence in comparison with the control group (PAO Control, 0.449±0.121 U/mg prot.; PAO Exp. Group, 0.312±0.096 U/mg prot.).
Conclusions: The decrease in polyamine amounts in the rat thymus is not due to the change in PAO activity.
©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston