Reeka Rani Preety Sinha


Lead, heavy metal, has been associated with various health disorders including respiratory, digestive, nervous and reproductive systems. Male reproductive disorders are rising worldwide in parallel to increased exposure to harmful chemicals through anthropogenic sources. The aim of this study was to find the effect of lead nitrate on sperm quality, serum testosterone level and testicular histopathology in male Swiss albino mice. Male Swiss albino mice were divided as Control and three groups of lead nitrate treated mice (LN-15,LN-30 and LN-45) with four animals in each group. An oral method was applied to administer 52 mg/ kg body weight of lead nitrate to each mice of LN-15,LN-30 and LN-45 for 15, 30 and 45 days, respectively. Distilled water was administered to the control group for 45 days. Sperm quality and serum testosterone level was studied for each group on completion of exposure to each group. There was a significant decline in sperm count (10.81±0.97 to 5.85±1.22) in LN-45; sperm motility (74.0±5.95 to 47.75±5.97) in LN-30 and (74.0±5.95 to 40.75±7.81) in LN-45; normal sperm morphology(77±3.11 to 42.0±8.04) in LN-30 and (77.50±3.11 to 35.5 ±5.19). Serum testosterone levels decreased significantly (5.29±0.84 to 2.61±0.51) in LN-45 group. Lead nitrate adversely affected testicular functions and increased adversity with a longer exposure duration in Swiss albino mice. It can reduce male fertility by hampering the formation of normal mature sperms.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Heavy metals, Lead nitrate, Male reproductive functions, Sperm, Testosterone

Acharya UR, Acharya S. & Mishra M. (2003) Lead acetate induced cytotoxicity in male germinal cells of Swiss mice. Ind Health, 41(3), 291-294. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.4 1.291. PMID: 12916762.
Al Osman, M., Yang, F. & Massey, I.Y.(2019). Exposure routes and health effects of heavy metals on children. Biometals32, 563–573.doi.org/10.1007/s10534-019-00193-5
Agarwal, A., Baskaran, S., Parekh, N., Cho, C. L., Henkel, R., Vij, S., Arafa, M., Panner Selvam, M. K. & Shah, R. (2021). Male infertility. Lancet,London, England, 397(10271), 319–333. doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736 (20)32667-2
Assi, M. A., Hezmee, M. N., Haron, A. W., Sabri, M. Y., & Rajion, M. A. (2016). The detrimental effects of lead on human and animal health. Veterinary world, 9(6), 660–671.doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2016.660-671
Andjelkovic M, Buha Djordjevic A, Antonijevic E, Antonijevic B, Stanic M, Kotur-Stevuljevic J, Spasojevic-Kalimanovska V, Jovanovic M, Boricic N, Wallace D, Bulat Z.(2019).Toxic Effect of Acute Cadmium and Lead Exposure in Rat Blood, Liver, and Kidney. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(2):274. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020274
Asrar Al- Khafaf, Hana Kh. Ismail & Ahmed M.A Alsaidya (2021). Histopathological effects of experimental exposure to lead on nervous system in albino female rats. Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 35(1), 45-48. doi: 10.33899/ijvs.2019.126248.1273
A.Thoreux-Manlay, J.F.Vélez de la Calle, M.F. Olivier, J.C. Soufir, R. Masse & G. Pinon-Lataillade,(1995).Impairment of testicular endocrine function after lead intoxication in the adult rat,Toxicology,Volume 100(1–3),101-109.
Bas,Hatice & Kalender, Suna (2016). Antioxidant Status, Lipid Peroxidation and Testis-histoarchitecture induced by lead nitrate and mercury chloride in male rats. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 59
Benoff, S., Centola, G. M., Millan, C., Napolitano, B., Marmar, J. L. & Hurley, I. R. (2003). Increased seminal plasma lead levels adversely affect the fertility potential of sperm in IVF. Human reproduction (Oxford, England), 18(2), 374–383. doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deg020
Carlsen,E, Giwercman, A,Keiding, N. & Skakkebaek, N. E. (1992). Evidence for decreasing quality of semen during past 50 years. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 305(6854), 609–613. doi.org/10.1136/bmj.305.6854.609
Charkiewicz, A. E. & Backstrand, J. R. (2020). Lead toxicity and pollution in Poland. International Journal of EnvironmentalRresearch and Public Health, 17(12), 4385. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124385
Dumıtrescu, E. , Chıurcıu, V. , Muselın, F., Popescu, R. , Brezovan, D. & Crıstına, R. T. (2015). Effects of long-term exposure of female rats to low levels of lead: ovary and uterus histological architecture changes . Turkish Journal of Biology. 39 (2), 284-289 . doi: 10.3906/biy-1407-6
Elgawish R.A.R. & Abdelrazek, H.M.A.(2014). Effects of lead acetate on testicular function and caspase-3 expression with respect to the protective effect of cinnamon in albino rats. Toxicol. Rep. 16 (1), 795 - 801. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2014.10.010. PMID: 28962292; PMCID: PMC 5598148
Eman Hassan, Khaled Kahilo, Tarek Kamal, Mahmoud El-Neweshy, Marwa Hassan(2019),Protective effect of diallyl sulfide against lead-mediated oxidative damage, apoptosis and down-regulation of CYP19 gene expression in rat testes,Life Sciences, 226,Pages 193-201,ISSN 0024-3205.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2019.04.020.
Fallah, A., Mohammad-Hasani, A., & Colagar, A. H. (2018). Zinc is an essential element for male fertility: A review of Zn roles in men's health, germination, sperm quality, and fertilization. Journal of Reproduction & Infertility,19(2), 69–81.
Gatewood, J. M., Schroth, G. P., Schmid, C. W. & Bradbury, E. M. (1990). Zinc-induced secondary structure transitions in human sperm protamines. The Journal of Biological Chemistry,265 (33), 20667–20672.
Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Irina Mindlis, Rachel Pinotti & Shanna H Swan (2017) Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis, Human Reproduction Update, 23(6), 646–659, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmx022
Hsu, P. C., Chang, H. Y., Guo, Y. L., Liu, Y. C. & Shih, T. S. (2009). Effect of smoking on blood lead levels in workers and role of reactive oxygen species in lead-induced sperm chromatin DNA damage. Fertility and sterility, 91(4), 1096–1103. doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.01.005
Järup L. (2003). Hazards of heavy metal contamination. British Medical Bulletin, 68, 167-182. https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldg032
Kasperczyk, A., Dziwisz, M., Ostałowska, A., Świętochowska, E. & Birkner, E. (2013). Function of the liver and bile ducts in humans exposed to lead. Human & Experimental Toxicology, 787–796. doi.org/10.1177/0960327112468 177
Lee S, Min J-y & Min K-b. (2020). Female infertility associated with blood lead and cadmium levels. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17(5):1794. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051794
Rai, P. K., Lee, S. S., Zhang, M., Tsang, Y. F. & Kim, K. H. (2019). Heavy metals in food crops: Health risks, fate, mechanisms, and management. Environment International, 125, 365–385. doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.01.067
Richard, E. (2016). Effects of lead nitrate on the testes of adult wistar rats. International Journal of Forensic Medical Investigation, 2(1), 5-7. Retrieved from https://ijfmi.org/index.php/JSD/article/view/55
Sengupta, P., Dutta, S. & Krajewska-Kulak, E. (2017). The disappearing sperms: analysis of reports published between 1980 and 2015. American Journal of Men's Health, 11(4), 1279-1304.
Sharma, V., Sharma, A. & Kansal, L. (2010). The effect of oral administration of Allium sativum extracts on lead nitrate induced toxicity in male mice, Food and Chemical Toxicology,48, 928-936.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2010.0 1.002.
Shetty, S. D. & Bairy, L. K. (2015). Effect of sorafenib on sperm count and sperm motility in male Swiss albino mice. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, 6(4), 165–169. doi.org/10.4103/2231-4040.1 65012
Stewart, W. F., Schwartz, B. S., Davatzikos, C., Shen, D., Liu, D., Wu, X., Todd, A. C., Shi, W., Bassett, S. & Youssem, D. (2006). Past adult lead exposure is linked to neurodegeneration measured by brain MRI. Neurology, 66(10), 1476–1484. doi.org/10.1212/01.wnl.000021613 8.69 777.15
Taha, E. A., Sayed, S. K., Ghandour, N. M., Mahran, A. M., Saleh, M. A., Amin, M. M. & Shamloul, R. (2013). Correlation between seminal lead and cadmium and seminal parameters in idiopathic oligoasthenozoospermic males. Central European Journal of Urology, 66(1), 84–92. doi.org/10.5173/ceju.2013.01.art28
Vega, S. G., Guzmán, P., García, L., Espinosa, J., & Cortinas de Nava, C. (1988). Sperm shape abnormality and urine mutagenicity in mice treated with niclosamide. Mutation Research, 204(2), 269–276.doi.org/10.1016/01 65-1218 (88)90099-7
Vigeh, M., Smith, D. R. & Hsu, P. C. (2011). How does lead induce male infertility? Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 9(1), 1–8
Wadi, S. A. & Ahmad, G. (1999). Effects of lead on the male reproductive system in mice. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A, 56(7), 513–521. doi.org/10.1080/009841099157953
Wang, T., Gao, H., Li, W. & Liu, C. (2019). Essential Role of Histone Replacement and Modifications in Male Fertility. Frontiers in Genetics, 10, 962. doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00962
Wirth, J. J. & Mijal, R. S. (2010). Adverse effects of low level heavy metal exposure on male reproductive function. Systems biology in reproductive medicine, 56(2), 147–167. https://doi.org/10.3109/19396360903582216
WHO (2020). Factsheet, infertility. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/infertility, WHO https://www.who.int/pub lications/i/item/9789240030787
WHO (2021). Factsheet lead poisoning, https://www.w ho.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/lead-poisoning-and-health WHO semen analysis, 5th edition,2010
Wyrobek, A. J. & Bruce, W. R. (1975). Chemical induction of sperm abnormalities in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 72(11), 4425–4429. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.72.1 1.4425
Citation Format
How to Cite
Rani, R., & Sinha, P. (2022). Toxic effect of lead nitrate on testicular functions in male Swiss albino mice. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 14(4), 1183–1189. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v14i4.3747
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles