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The aim of this study was to investigate the antioxidant role of zinc (Zn) in the Cd-exposed testes of Wistar rats. Subchronic exposure to Cd (CdCl2, 40 mg/l, per os) for 30 days resulted in a significant reduction in growth rate (-11%) and relative weights of testes (-36%) and seminal vesicles (-80%). Treated rats displayed a decrease in testicular and plasma testosterone levels, respectively (-70%, P<0.05; -48%, P<0.05), epididymal sperm count (-22%, P<0.05), and spermatozoa motility (-35%, P<0.05). In contrast, Cd increased the malondialdehyde (+46%, P<0.05), metallothionein (+200%, P<0.05), and 8-oxodGuo concentrations (+71%, P<0.05) in the testis. In the gonad, Cd decreased the GPx (-30%, P<0.05), CAT (-32%, P<0.05), mitochondrial Mn-SOD (-34%, P<0.05), and cytosolic CuZn-SOD (-32%, P<0.05) activities. Zinc supplementation (ZnCl2, 40 mg/l, per os) in the Cd-exposed rats restored the activities of GPx, CuZn-SOD, and Mn-SOD in the testes to the levels of the control group. Moreover, zinc administration was capable of reducing the elevated levels of malondialdehyde in the testis. Interestingly, zinc supplementation attenuated DNA oxidation induced by Cd in the gonad and restored the testosterone level and sperm count to the levels of the control group. Zinc administration minimized oxidative damage and reversed the impairment of spermatogenesis and testosterone production induced by Cd in the rat testis.
- Journal of Reproduction and Development
Journal of Reproduction and Development 54(2), 129-134, 2008-04-01
THE SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT