Background: Cadmium (Cd) impairs gametogenesis and damages the blood-testis barrier.
Objective: As the primary mechanism of Cd-induced damage is oxidative stress, the effects of two natural
antioxidants, myo-inositol (MI) and seleno-L-methionine (Se), were evaluated in mice testes.
Methods: Eighty-four male C57 BL/6J mice were divided into twelve groups: 0.9% NaCl (vehicle; 1
ml/kg/day i.p.); Se (0.2 mg/kg/day per os); Se (0.4 mg/kg/day per os); MI (360 mg/kg/day per os); MI
plus Se (0.2 mg/kg/day); MI plus Se (0.4 mg/kg/day); CdCl2 (2 mg/kg/day i.p.) plus vehicle; CdCl2 plus
MI; CdCl2 plus Se (0.2 mg/kg/day); CdCl2 plus Se (0.4 mg/kg/day); CdCl2 plus MI plus Se (0.2
mg/kg/day); and CdCl2 plus MI plus Se (0.4 mg/kg/day). After 14 days, testes were processed for biochemical,
structural and immunohistochemical analyses.
Results: CdCl2 increased iNOS and TNF-α expression and Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, lowered
glutathione (GSH) and testosterone, induced testicular lesions, and almost eliminated claudin-11 immunoreactivity.
Se administration at 0.2 or 0.4 mg/kg significantly reduced iNOS and TNF-α expression,
maintained GSH, MDA and testosterone levels, structural changes and low claudin-11 immunoreactivity.
MI alone or associated with Se at 0.2 or 0.4 mg/kg significantly reduced iNOS and TNF-α
expression and MDA levels, increased GSH and testosterone levels, ameliorated structural organization
and increased claudin-11 patches number.
Conclusion: We demonstrated a protective effect of MI, a minor role of Se and an evident positive role
of the association between MI and Se on Cd-induced damages of the testis. MI alone or associated with
Se might protect testes in subjects exposed to toxicants, at least to those with behavior similar to Cd.