, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 695–705 | Cite as

Testicular toxicity induced by dietary cadmium in cocks and ameliorative effect by selenium

  • Jin-Long Li
  • Rui Gao
  • Shu Li
  • Jin-Tao Wang
  • Zhao-Xin Tang
  • Shi-Wen XuEmail author


Cadmium (Cd) is an ubiquitous environmental pollutant that has been associated with male reproductive toxicity in animal models. However, little is known about the reproductive toxicity of Cd in birds. To investigate the toxicity of Cd on male reproduction in birds and the protective effects of selenium (Se) against subchronic exposure to dietary Cd, 100-day-old cocks received either Se (as 10 mg Na2SeO3 per kg of diet), Cd (as 150 mg CdCl2 per kg of diet) or Cd + Se in their diets for 60 days. Histological and ultrastructural changes in the testis, the concentrations of Cd and Se, amount of lipid peroxidation (LPO), the activities of the antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and apoptosis and serum testosterone levels were determined. Exposure to Cd significantly lowered SOD and GPx activity, Se content in the testicular tissue, and serum testosterone levels. It increased the amount of LPO, the numbers of apoptotic cells and Cd concentration and caused obvious histopathological changes in the testes. Concurrent treatment with Se reduced the Cd-induced histopathological changes in the testis, oxidative stress, endocrine disorder and apoptosis, suggesting that the toxic effects of cadmium on the testes is ameliorated by Se. Se supplementation also modified the distribution of Cd in the testis.


Cadmium Selenium Oxidative stress Apoptosis Cock testis 



This work was supported by a grant from the Bureau of Education of Heilongjiang Province (No. 10551038).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Long Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rui Gao
    • 1
  • Shu Li
    • 1
  • Jin-Tao Wang
    • 1
  • Zhao-Xin Tang
    • 2
  • Shi-Wen Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Veterinary MedicineNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Veterinary MedicineSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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