Cadmium-induced testes oxidative damage in rats can be influenced by dietary zinc intake

Patricia I. Oteiza, Viviana N. Adonaylo, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that zinc deficient animals would be characterized by an increased sensitivity to cadmium-induced oxidative damage to the testes. Weanling male rats were given free access to either a control (25 μg Zn/g) or a zinc deficient (0.5 μg Zn/g) diet; or restricted access to the 25 μg Zn/g diet at a level of intake similar to that of rats fed the 0.5 μg Zn/g diet. After 14 days on the diets, animals were injected sc with either saline or CdCl2 (2 mg Cd/kg body weight) solutions, and killed 24 h later. In the zinc-deficient group, testes weight and testes/body weight were higher in the cadmium-injected rats than in the saline-injected rats. The extent of hemorrhages, as indicated by high hemoglobin and testes iron concentrations was higher in the cadmium-treated zinc deficient group than in the cadmium-injected controls. In the zinc-deficient group, cadmium injection was associated with higher levels of lipid peroxidation (33% higher TBARS content) and protein oxidation (17% lower glutamine synthetase activity). Cadmium injection did not influence these parameters in the zinc-adequate groups. Extracellular superoxide dismutase activity was lower in the zinc-deficient group than in the zinc-sufficient groups; there was a trend (P<0.06) for a lower activity in the cadmium- versus the saline-injected rats. These results support the concept that zinc deficiency increases the susceptibility of testes to cadmium-mediated free radical damage. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 10 1999


  • Cadmium
  • Free radicals
  • Oxidative stress
  • Testes
  • Zinc deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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