Functional Status of Testicular Macrophages in an Immunopriviledged Niche in Cadmium Intoxicated Murine Testes




The present study investigates the extent of immunomodulatory effects associated with semenological alterations in the testes, after exposure to cadmium (in vivo) in male Swiss albino mice. Despite residing in an immunopriviledged site, testicular macrophages have immunogenic functions.

Methods of study

Experimental animals were divided into two groups: (i) control (isotonic saline) and (ii) treated (0.35 mg/kg b.w of cadmium chloride) intraperitoneally for 15 days. Murine testicular macrophages were isolated and the cell function studies such as morphological alteration and tumor-necrosis factor (TNF-α) release assay were performed. Among the semenological parameters, sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology and the testosterone levels in the epididymal semen samples from both groups were determined.


The present work shows that cadmium is responsible for a significant alteration, degenerative changes and reduced cell function in testicular macrophages probably by increasing oxidative damage. Such oxidative stress also causes a parallel dysfunction of the semenological parameters.


TNF-α which is probably unable to bind with the surface receptor in testicular macrophages as because of altered structural morphology with reduction of cell function, render the animals more prone to infection and ultimately causes subfertility.