Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


Semen quality parameters are potentially affected by nanomaterials in several ways: Inhaled nanosized particles are potent inducers of pulmonary inflammation, leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. Small amounts of particles may translocate from the lungs into the lung capillaries, enter the systemic circulation and ultimately reach the testes. Both the inflammatory response and the particles may induce oxidative stress which can directly affect spermatogenesis. Furthermore, spermatogenesis may be indirectly affected by changes in the hormonal milieu as systemic inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model.

Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous nanomaterials were investigated by intratracheally instilling sexually mature male NMRI mice with four different carbonaceous nanomaterials dispersed in nanopure water: graphene oxide (18 μg/mouse/i.t.), Flammruss 101, Printex 90 and SRM1650b (0.1 mg/mouse/i.t. each) weekly for seven consecutive weeks. Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA.

Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed sustained inflammatory response in the nanoparticle-exposed groups one week after the last instillation. No significant changes in epididymal sperm parameters, daily sperm production or plasma testosterone levels were found.

Despite the sustained pulmonary inflammatory response, an eight week exposure to graphene oxide, Flammruss 101, Printex 90 and the diesel particle SRM1650b in the present study did not appear to affect semen parameters, daily sperm production or testosterone concentration in male NMRI mice.
TidsskriftParticle and Fibre Toxicology
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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