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Reproductive Toxicity of Cadmium

Contact Person: Peter Massanyi (massanyi@afnet.uniag.sk)


The cadmium content in ovaries was in the range < 0,01 to 0,02 mg/kg. The highest levels were observed in oviducti (0,02 - 0,07 mg/kg). Concentrations of cadmium in the uteri were form < 0,01 to 0,05 mg/kg. In the male reproductive organs, the cadmium content was lower than in the female reproductive organs. In all samples of testes, the concentration was under the detecting limit 0,01 mg/kg. The level of cadmium in the tunica albuginea was only in one case 0,01 mg/kg and in others the concentration was under this limit.

In ovaries after cadmium administration concentration of cadmium increased to 5,21 (group A) and 0,47 (group B), in comparison with control (0,03 mg/kg). Concerning the number of follicles, the lowest amounts of primary follicles was found after i.p. administration of cadmium. Significantly lower amounts of follicles with less than 2 layers of granulosa cells were in group A in comparison with group B. The same results were observed in antral follicles. The number of atretic follicles was significantly higher in all groups with an administration of cadmium (P<0,05). The diameter of the follicles was significantly lower in the primary follicles of group B in comparison with the control group. Percentual content of growing follicles was significantly higher and of stroma significantly lower (P<0,01) in the control group in comparison with all experimental groups receiving an administration of cadmium. In the study of the epithelium, stroma and muscular coat in the oviduct the amount of epithelium was in the range from 19,67 to 25,50%, with no significant difference. Significantly hihger amount of stroma was in comparison with group K and B. In muscular coat any significant differences were determined. Cadmium level in uterus was 0,04 (K), 2,59 (A) and 0,25 (group B), respectively. In the uterus, the amount of endometrium was in the range from 48,42% to 50,37% and of myometrium from 51,58% to 49,63%. The percentage of glandular epithelium in endometrium was significantly lower in group A in comp arison with group B (P<0,05). Amounts of stroma was significantly higher in the group with i.p. administration in comparison with the group with p.o. application for five month period (P<0,01). A significant decrease of weight of offspring in all studied periods (1.,21.,42. day post partum) after p.o. administration of cadmium to their mothers was found. None of offspring had malformations.

Cadmium concentration in control group testes was 0,04 mg/kg. Higher level was found in group B (0,10) as well as in group A (1,93 mg/kg). The seminiferous epithelium appers the signs of various rate of the injury. In some testes epithelium was normal, but it lost the contact with the basal membrane. In other cases the cells of the seminiferous epithelium undergo necrosis and the spermatogenesis was disrupted. The interstitial spaces extended and the blood vessels had wall injuries. The microscopical changes in the head epididymis copy the changes in the testes. In some epididymes the epitheliu was well-preserved and th e tubules contained spermatozoa, but in other tubules the oval cells from the testis and their detritus were obseved, or they were empty with the atrophied epithelium. The changes were weaker and more uniform after chronic peroral application of 1 mg Cd/kg b. w. The tubules were well-preserved with spermatogenesis in the centre of the testis, but the cells fell out from the germinative epithelium and the spermatogenesis stops. In this places the interstitial tissue was extended. The epididymes were not injuried. They contained lower amounts of the spermatozoa and some of them were empty. We found the decrease of the seminiferous epithelium and the tubule lumen volume in both experimental groups and increase of the interstitium volume by quantitative analysis. In the epididymes the epithelium volume in both experiments as well as lumen volume in the i. p. experiment decreased. The lumen volume of the epididymis tubules was non-significantly increased in the experiment with p.o. cadmium administration.

Desint egration of membranes of porcine granulosa cells with as well as without cadmium administration is reported, This desintegration is presented by occurrence of vacuoles in cells which contain fibrillar or membranous material. Golgi complex rarely remains. Consequently increase of number of lysosomes (also secondary) is reported. With increasing cadmium concentrations also number of lipid drops increases. Heterogeneity of cells is also higher. In some cells the changes are less evident with dense mitochondrias with expressive membranes. In other cell types amount of matrix increases and that of membranes decrease. Some mitochondrias become a part of lysosomes. Current endoplasmic reticulum rarely remains. Its dilatation is well visible on transverse sections. Cell types are in correlation with nuclear structure. Granulosa cells with nuclear membrane and heterochromatin at the nuclear membrane are rare. More often are observed nuclei with expressive heterochromatin at the nuclear membrane and other structures di sappear. In these nuclei dilatation of perinuclear cisterna was observed. More rarely nuclei with condensed chromatin reminding pyknosis were observed. Some nuclei have disperse fine granular chromatin. In the other type of cells less evident changes with condensed perichromatin in the central part of nuclei are reported. In this study ultrastructural changes of granulosa cells after culture with or without cadmium administration are reported. It must be taken in account that some changes have been done during the collection of granulosa cells. On the other hand we can report structural changes after cadmium administration which are caused Cadmium has induced the increase of progesterone production by ovarian by luteinization of granulosa cells, so these cells are in luteal phase.granulosa cells and awaited decrease of oestrogenes production.

Decreasing time-dependent tendency of progressive spermatozoa movement was evident in control group as well as in all cadmium treated groups except the group with the highest concentration of cadmium ( 2.0 mg CdCl2/ml ), where almost all parameters were expressively affected. In control group average time-dependent decrease (Time 0 min. - 0/60 min. - 1) in progressive movement was 23.6% (30.4 / 6.8), in group G with 0.02 mg CdCl2/ml 31.4% (34.4 / 3.0), in group H with 0.1 mg CdCl2/ml 21.8% (25.6 /3.8), in group I with 0.2 mg CdCl2/ml 42.8% (44.0 / 1.2). Due to the very low value of progressive movement at time 0 and time 1 difference in group J with 2.0 mg CdCl2/ml was only4.57% (5.17 / 0.6). Differences in motility were similar in all groups and time periods (86.0 - 96.0%), certain decrease was in group with cadmium concentration 0.2 mg/ml at time 1 (65.8%) and in the group with cadmium concentration 2.0 mg/ml at time 0 (74.33%) an at time 1 (31.4%). Also path velocity and straightness were mostly affected in the group with the highest cadmium concentration.

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Massanyi, P; Uhrin, V; Toman, R; Lukac, N; Pizzi, F; Renon, P; Paksy, K; Paksy, Z S; Trandzik, J; (1998). Reproductive Toxicity of Cadmium. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/occupational/massanyi0161/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright