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Fertil Steril. 2006 Oct;86(4 Suppl):1097-105. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

In vivo spermatotoxic effect of chromium as reflected in the epididymal epithelial principal cells, basal cells, and intraepithelial macrophages of a nonhuman primate (Macaca radiata Geoffroy).

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Dr. ALM Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, India.



To understand, through a simulation experiment in a nonhuman primate model, the potential in vivo spermatotoxic toxic effect of hexavalent chromium (CrVI) in men who are occupationally or environmentally exposed to it.


Controlled laboratory study.


Research laboratory in a department of endocrinology in a university in India.


Male bonnet monkey, Macaca radiata Geoffroy.


Monkeys were exposed ad libitum to 100, 200, and 400 ppm CrVI, dissolved in drinking water, for a chronic period of 180 days.


Examination of epididymis with a transmission electron microscope and assessment of the effect of CrVI in terms of accumulation of sperm-derived lipofuscin (LF) material in the principal cells, basal cells, and intraepithelial macrophages of the epithelium.


The abundance of basal cells and intraepithelial macrophages and the content of LF material in these cell types increased. The principal cells phagocytosed from the lumen the dead sperm resulting from CrVI exposure and processed them partially into LF material, which was acquired by the basal cells and intraepithelial macrophages and processed further. The LF material-laden basal cells and intraepithelial macrophages appeared to leave the epithelium, accompanied by recruitment of fresh basal cells and intraepithelial macrophages.


Occupational or environmental exposure to CrVI, as would occur in the tannery, soap, and other industries in developing and underdeveloped countries, can be toxic in vivo to spermatozoa.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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