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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protective effect of vitamin E against mercuric chloride reproductive toxicity in male mice.

Mercury intoxication has been associated with male reproductive toxicity in experimental animals and mercury may have the potential to produce adverse effects on fertility in men. Vitamin E may protect against toxic effects of mercury in the liver and other tissues. To investigate the protective role of vitamin E against mercuric chloride toxicity for the testis, epididymis, and vas deferens of adult male mice, animals were treated with either mercuric chloride 1.25 mg/kg/day, vitamin E 2 mg/kg/kg, or a combination of the two treatments. Control animals were treated with water. Treatments were administered by daily gavage for 45 days. An additional group of animals treated with mercuric chloride were permitted to recover for 45 days after mercuric chloride treatments. Parameters studied included serum testosterone, epididymal sperm count, motility, and morphology, epididymal and vas deferens adenosine triphosphatase ( ATPase), phosphorylase, sialic acid, glycogen and protein, testicular succinate dehydrogenase ( SDH), phosphatases, cholesterol, ascorbic acid, and glutathione. Fertility was evaluated by sperm positive vaginal smears after overnight cohabitation with a female. Mercuric chloride produced a reduction in epididymal sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm viability, and there were no sperm-positive smears in this group. Biochemical tests from the male reproductive organs were also altered by mercuric chloride treatment. Coadministration of vitamin E with mercuric chloride prevented the changes in sperm and biochemical parameters and was associated with control rates of sperm positive smears after cohabitation. Animals given vitamin E with mercuric chloride also had lower concentrations of mercury in the testis, epididimyis, and vas deferens. Permitting animals to recover for 45 days after mercuric chloride treatment resulted in partial recovery of sperm and biochemical parameters. Vitamin E cotreatment has a protective role against mercury-induced male reproductive toxicity.[1]


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