Indium, a rare earth metal characterized by high plasticity, corrosion resistance, and a low melting point, is widely used in the electronics industry, but has been reported to be an environmental pollutant and a health hazard. We designed a study to investigate the effects of subacute exposure of indium compounds on male reproductive function. Twelve-week old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into test and control groups, and received weekly intraperitoneal injections of indium acetate (1.5 mg/kg body weight) and normal saline, respectively, for 8 weeks. Serum indium levels, cauda epididymal sperm count, motility, morphology, chromatin DNA structure, mitochondrial membrane potential, oxidative stress, and testis DNA content were investigated. The indium acetate-treated group showed significant reproductive toxicity, as well as an increased percentage of sperm morphology abnormality, chromatin integrity damage, and superoxide anion generation. Furthermore, positive correlations among sperm morphology abnormalities, chromatin DNA damage, and superoxide anion generation were also noted. The results of this study demonstrated the toxic effect of subacute low-dose indium exposure during the period of sexual maturation on male reproductive function in adulthood, through an increase in oxidative stress and sperm chromatin DNA damage during spermiogenesis, in a rodent model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis