Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Microscopy (Oxf). 2013 Jun;62(3):397-403. doi: 10.1093/jmicro/dft002. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Comparison of the intracellular behavior of gold (Au) and indium (In) in testicle after their parenteral administration.

Author information

Laboratoire de Physiologie, Faculté de Médecine de Tunis, 15, Rue Djebel Lakhdar, La Rabta 1007, Tunis, Tunisie.


The subcellular behavior of several mineral elements was studied using modern techniques of observation like transmission electron microscopy and analysis like electron probe microanalysis and secondary ion mass spectrometry. In the present ultrastructural and analytical investigations, we undertake to compare the intracellular behavior of a heavy metal, gold, and a III-A group element, indium, on rat testicular tissues after their parenteral administrations. Our ultrastructural results showed that while gold was found only in the lysosomes of Leydig cells under electron dense needles, indium was observed as electron-dense deposits in the lysosomes of both Leydig and Sertoli cells. No ultrastructural modifications were observed in the testicular tissues of the control rats. The microanalytical study showed that gold was concentrated in lysosomes with sulfur as a sulfate crystalline structure whereas indium was concentrated in the same organelle as insoluble phosphate salt. These results demonstrated that testicular Leydig and Sertoli cells have the ability to selectively concentrate indium but gold was concentrated only in the first kind of cells. The mechanism implicated in this concentration phenomenon is a biochemical one involving intralysosomal hydrolytic enzymes, the acid phosphatase and the arylsulfatase. This mechanism occurs in order to protect the organism and to avoid the presence of toxic metals under soluble and free form.


electron probe microanalysis (EPMA); gold; indium; lysosomes; testicular cells; transmission electron microscopy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center