Effects of Methyl Mercury on Testicular Functions in Macaca fascicularis Monkeys

Authors

  • Mostafa K. Mohamed,

    1. Departments of Pathology, Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
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  • Thomas M. Burbacher,

    1. Environmental Health of the Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
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  • N. Karle Mottet

    1. Departments of Pathology, Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
    2. Environmental Health of the Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Abstract: These studies were performed to investigate the effects of MeHg on testicular function in Macaca fascicularis monkeys. In an in vivo study involving oral treatment of adult males Macaca fascicularis monkeys with MeHg for 20 weeks, changes in spermatozoal production, motility and morphology and in serum testosterone were followed before, during and after treatment. MeHg treatment significantly decreased% motile spermatozoa and scores for sperm speed and forward progression and increased % abnormal sperm tail forms, at sub-neurotoxic levels. The MeHg-induced increase in semen abnormalities was not accompanied by any significant changes in serum levels of testosterone. No consistent histological abnormalities were detected in testicular biopsies from the treated animals at the end of the treatment period. A good recovery pattern was observed for the MeHg effects on sperm motility while this was unclear for the effects on sperm morphology.

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