Lithium protects against toxic effects of cadmium in the rat testes

Majedah Al-Azemi, Florence E. Omu, Elijah O. Kehinde, Jeroham T. Anim, Mabayoje A. Oriowo, Alexander E. Omu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the protective effect of Lithium against the toxic effect of Cadmium in the rat testes. Methods: Twenty four adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with four different regimens: Cadmium only, Cadmium and lithium, lithium only and controls. Rats were sacrificed after 6 weeks and testicular levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-4), anti-inflammatory cytokine (TNF-α), Pro-apoptotic protein (Bax) and anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2) were measured by ELISA while serum levels of FSH, LH, Prolactin and Testosterone were measured using the Vidas parametric system. Antioxidant status (MDA, SOD) was also assessed in serum. Histopathological changes of testes were examined using light and electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical staining for Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase 3 were performed. Results: Treatment with lithium was associated with significant reduction in the toxic effects of Cadmium as shown by reduced testicular levels of TNF-α, serum levels of Malondialdehyde and testicular level of Bax, and increased levels of IL-4, Zn-Cu SOD, Bcl-2 and Testosterone. Testicular histopathology showed that Cadmium produced an extensive germ cells apoptosis and the addition of lithium in Cadmium-treated rats significantly reduced cadmium-induced testicular damage. Conclusion(s): Lithium has a protective effect against cadmium-induced testicular apoptosis in the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Apoptosis
  • Bax
  • Bcl-2
  • Cadmium
  • Lithium
  • Testes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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