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Effects of Brazil nut extract (Bertholletia excelsa) in the spermatogenesis and other reproductive parametres of cadimiun-exposed male Wistar rats: an acute assay

Grant number: 12/15172-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal Investigator:Odair Aguiar Junior
Grantee:Juliana Parusia Schonhaus
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


The spermatogenesis, as well as the remaining male reproductive parameters, have been altered under a series of endogenous and/or exogenous conditions, leading to a decrease in male fertility over the last five decades. A series of substances, artificially introduced in the environment, are endocrine disruptors that may affect the male reproductive system. Cadmium is a metal found in relevant concentrations as a soil contaminant, in agricultural products, tobacco (including the cigarette), and in the industry is a byproduct of zinc, lead, and copper refining. The main target of cadmium is the testis, even in minimal concentrations. In this organ it causes massive alterations in the seminiferous epithelium and interstitium, disrupting the spermatogenesis and hormonal production, leading to infertility. A lot of studies have been shown that besides a direct action, cadmium triggers oxidative reactions which amplify its effects. Many researchers have been looking for antioxidant substances which may protect the organism against cadmium-induced damages. In the present work, food will be tested as a protective: a Brazilian nut extract, which presents a richness in selenium and other antioxidant substances. In a short-term assay (7 days), rats will be injected with cadmium and treated with the extract. Our aim is to characterize the responses to the extract, check reproductive parameters and the levels of antioxidant markers, looking for evidence of protective action.(AU)

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