Ferreira, A.F., Garcia, P.V., Camarinho, R. & Rodrigues, A.S. (2015) Volcanogenic pollution and testicular damage in wild mice.Chemosphere, 132, 135–141. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.017 (IF2015 3,698; Q1 Environmental Sciences)
Many evidences have surfaced the adverse effects of environmental pollutants on male reproduction. Volcanogenic pollution is understudied, although it is a well-known source of hazardous contaminants. This study aims to assess the effects of chronic exposure to volcanogenic pollution on wild mice testes by studying: (i) diameter of seminiferous tubules; (ii) relative volumetric density of different spermatogenic cells and interstitial space; (iii) damage in the seminiferous tubules and (iv) apoptotic level in the germinal epithelium. The mice from the polluted site showed higher levels of the selected heavy metals than those from the reference site. The mean diameter of seminiferous tubules and the relative volume occupied by spermatozoa and lumen in exposed mice were significantly lower than in the unexposed group. Contrarily, exposed mice showed a significantly higher relative volume occupied by interstitium, as well as, a higher degree of damage and a significantly higher number of apoptotic cells in the germinal epithelium. Results show that secondary manifestations of volcanic activity can pose a serious risk of testicular injury and therefore for male reproduction.