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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 118-123

Toxic effect of lead on human spermatozoa: A study among pigment factory workers

1 Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, Chitwan, Nepal, India
2 Industrial Toxicology Division, Regional Occupational Health Center (E), (ICMR), Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
A R Chowdhury
Deputy Director (Sr. Grade), Regional Occupational Health Center (E), Indian Council of Medical Research, Block-DP,Sector-V, Salt Lake,Kolkata - 700 091
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Occupational lead exposure caused male reproductive impairment, but information on spermatozoa activity, motility, and maturation is limited. In the above perspective, spermatozoa morphology, motility, activity, and nutritional status in lead exposed workers (7-15 years exposure) were assessed. Low sperm velocity, gross, and forward progressive motility with high stationary motile spermatozoa revealed lowering of sperm cell activity after exposure (P < 0.001), which was supported by higher seminal fructose and reduced sperm ATPase activity. Lowering of seminal plasma total protein with concomitant increase in free amino acid was prevalent as exposure increased (P < 0.001), suggesting disturbance in cellular nutritional status. Prolonged liquefaction time, reduced semen volume, viscosity, seminal plasma protein, fructose, and cholesterol level among workers indicated accessory sex gland dysfunction after occupational lead exposure (P < 0.001). Deterioration of sperm density and morphology was associated with high blood and semen lead of workers (P < 0.001) leading to infertility without altering FSH, LH, and testosterone level.


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