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EC number: 235-252-2
CAS number: 12141-20-7
Male rats were administered lead acetate in drinking water at
concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, and 1 g/L over 60 days and biochemical
and histopathological analyses were performed on the testes. Body weight
was statistically significantly decreased at all tested doses.
Testicular weight was statistically significantly decreased at 1 g/L.
There were statistically significant increases in blood and testicular
lead concentrations, urinary δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), and testicular
cholesterol at all tested doses. There was a statistically significant
decrease in testicular ascorbic acid at all tested doses. There were
statistically significant decreases in seminiferous tubule diameter and
spermatid count at 0.5 g/L and above, and in spermatogenic count and
Leydig cell number and nuclear diameter at 1 g/L. Spermatocytes and
spermatids were in degenerative condition, and the lumen of the
seminiferous tubules was filled with cellular debris at 0.5 g/L. At 1
g/L, the cellular pattern of the seminiferous tubules was disintegrated,
spermatogenic inhibition was at the stage of spermatogonia, and Leydig
cells were in atrophic condition. The reproductive NOAEL and systemic
LOAEL from this study were both 0.25 g/L. The authors stated that high
levels of cholesterol and decreased ascorbic acid along with atrophic
Leydig cells in animals exposed to 1 g/L suggests non-utilization of
cholesterol towards the synthesis of testosterone from Leydig cells.
They concluded that lead may inhibit spermatogenesis at the pre-meiotic
stage via lack of testosterone production from Leydig cells.
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