Selenium protection against mercury toxicity on the male reproductive system of Clarias gariepinus.Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2019 Nov; 225:108583.CB
The present study aimed to evaluate the protective role of Selenium (Se) (0.1 ppm) on the male reproductive system of the catfish Clarias gariepinus exposed to sublethal doses of Mercury (Hg) (0.04 and 0.12 ppm) for 30 days. Indicators of seminal and gonadal hormone disruption (testosterone, estradiol and 11 keto testosterone), antioxidants (total antioxidant capacity (TAO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)), oxidative stress biomarkers (lipid peroxidation (LPO), percentage of DNA fragmentation, carbonylated proteins (CP) and nitric oxide (NO)) and histopathological alterations in testicles of Clarias gariepinus were determined. The exposure to Hg resulted in a high accumulation of residues of this metal in testicular tissues. The results showed a significant decrease in sperm count, activity and motility and in all gonadal hormones in Hg exposed groups. Hg exposure also induced a decline in TAO, SOD, CAT and GPx, whereas LPO, DNA fragmentation, CP and NO significantly increased in testicles of C. gariepinus respect to the control group. Although exposure to Se did not reduce the degree of mercury bioconcentration in the testicles, the sperm quality parameters were recovered. Moreover, TAO levels and GPx activity significantly increased after fish exposure to Se, whereas CP levels decreased. LPO, NO, CAT and SOD were also partially normalized when compared with the groups exposed to only Hg. In conclusion, the results showed that Hg, even in the small doses is capable to induce reproductive toxicity in the male catfish. Se exposure partially restored the values of biochemical parameters and sperm quality in Hg-treated fish suggesting protective effects against Hg reproductive toxicity.