, Volume 83, Issue 7, pp 647-652
Date: 29 May 2009

Strain difference of cadmium-induced testicular toxicity in inbred Wistar–Imamichi and Fischer 344 rats

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Abstract

Previously, we reported that Wistar–Imamichi (WI) rats are highly resistant to cadmium (Cd)-induced lethality and hepatotoxicity compared to Fischer 344 (F344) rats. Since the testes are one of the most sensitive organs to acute Cd toxicity, we examined possible strain-related differences in Cd-induced testicular toxicity between inbred WI and F344 rats. Rats were treated with a single dose of 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 mg Cd/kg, as CdCl2, sc and killed 24 h later. Cd at doses of 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg induced severe testicular hemorrhage, as assessed by pathological and testis hemoglobin content, in F344 rats, but not WI rats. After Cd treatment (2.0 mg/kg), the testicular Cd content was significantly lower in WI rats than in the F344 rats, indicating a toxiokinetic mechanism for the observed strain difference. Thus, the remarkable resistance to Cd-induced testicular toxicity in WI rats is associated, at least in part, with lower testicular accumulation of Cd. When zinc (Zn; 10 mg/kg, sc) was administered in combination with Cd (2.0 mg/kg) to F344 rats, the Cd-induced increase in testicular hemoglobin content, indicative of hemorrhage, was significantly reduced. Similarly, the testicular Cd content was significantly decreased with Zn co-treatment compared to Cd treatment alone. Thus, it can be concluded that the testicular Cd accumulation partly competes with Zn transport systems and that these systems may play an important role in the strain-related differences in Cd-induced testicular toxicity between WI and F344 rats.