Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 11279–11287 | Cite as

Intergenerational reproductive toxicity of chlordecone in male Caenorhabditis elegans

  • Shuhao Dai
  • Ying Zhang
  • Yan Miao
  • Ran Liu
  • Yuepu Pu
  • Lihong YinEmail author
Research Article


Chlordecone (CLD), also named Kepone, is a synthetic organochlorine pesticide. As one of the common persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in nature, CLD has a profound impact on the environment and human health. The study aims to investigate the reproductive toxicity effects of CLD on male Caenorhabditis elegans and on progeny. L1-stage male nematodes were exposed to the control group (M9 solution) and four dose groups (0.02, 0.2, 2, and 20 μg/L). After exposure for 48 h, the male nematodes were picked to mating experiment and progeny experiment that the number of progeny and the time of observation in male parent and in F1 generation were counted; the number of germ cells and the number of sperm in the meiotic division of male nematodes were counted by staining with dimercaptophenyl hydrazine (DAPI), and the nematode gland area was observed under the bright field of the microscope. In male nematodes, the results showed that a number of progeny were 351.20 ± 31.40, 321.60 ± 24.70, 307.30 ± 19.30, 240.10 ± 27.60, and 227.90 ± 22.70 (P < 0.05); the generation times were 55.80 ± 1.95 h, 56.40 ± 1.60 h, 56.70 ± 0.92 h, 60.80 ± 0.95 h, and 69.60 ± 1.97 h (P < 0.05); relative areas of gonad were (99.80 ± 6.27)%, (93.00 ± 1.70)%, (85.00 ± 1.70)%, (70.70 ± 9.81)%, and (60.00 ± 5.23)% (P < 0.05); DAPI staining results showed the number of germ cells in meiosis area were 191.00 ± 10.97, 181.10 ± 15.56, 177.00 ± 9.20, 147.50 ± 10.56, and 139.30 ± 23.79 (P < 0.05); the sperm numbers were 335.60 ± 21.31, 308.60 ± 19.60, 306.00 ± 11.23, 260.10 ± 27.41, and 255.00 ± 3.72 (P < 0.05). In the F1 generation, the progeny numbers were 328.10 ± 22.28, 167.50 ± 15.30, 150.00 ± 13.65, 131.30 ± 18.40, and 130.20 ± 16.17 (P < 0.05); the generation times were 55.50 ± 2.36, 71.10 ± 0.97, 70.90 ± 0.52, 74.10 ± 2.07, and 73.90 ± 1.35 h (P < 0.05). The groups are grouped in order as M9 solution, 0.02, 0.2, 2, and 20 μg/L. The results revealed that CLD caused decrease in progeny number, relative area of gonad, number of germ cells, and sperm number and prolonged the generation time in the male nematode. In offspring grown up without CLD, the effect of CLD on generation time and sperm number can still be observed on offspring. In conclusion, CLD induces male nematode reproductive toxicity and causes defects in offspring.


Chlordecone Caenorhabditis elegans Intergenerational Reproductive toxicity Offspring Sperm 


Funding information

This paper is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81273123 and 81872588).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine Engineering, Ministry of Education, School of Public HealthSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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