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Effect of Cr(V) on reproductive organ morphology and sperm parameters: An experimental study in mice

Environmental Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1476-069x-4-9
  • Research
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Background Cr(V) species are formed during the intracellular reduction of Cr(VI), a ubiquitous environmental pollutant. In this study, the acute toxicity of a physiologically stable Cr(V) compound, [CrV-BT]2- (BT = bis(hydroxyethyl)aminotris(hydroxymethyl)methane) was investigated in the male reproductive system of sexually mature 60-day-old male ICR-CD1 mice. Methods Eight-week-old animals were subcutaneously injected daily with a dose of ca 8 μmol of Cr/mouse, during 5 days. The control group was injected with 0.5 mL of BT buffer. Testis and epididymis morphology was evaluated using light and transmission electron microscopy. Epididymal sperm counts, motility and acrosome integrity were also assayed using standard methods. Results Seminiferous epithelium abnormalities were detected in the CrV-BT experimental group, including intraepithelial vacuolation, and remarkable degeneration of Sertoli cells, spermatocytes and spermatids. The premature release of germ cells into the tubular lumen was also evident. Histological evaluation of epididymal compartments revealed apparently normal features. However, the epididymal epithelium presented vacuolation. [CrV-BT]2- induced a reduction in sperm acrosome integrity. However, sperm motility and density were not significantly affected. Conclusion This in vivo study using a Cr(V) compound, provides evidence for the potential reproductive hazards caused on male reproductive system by species containing chromium in intermediate oxidation states.

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