Vitamin E modifies the ultrastructure of testis and epididymis in mice exposed to lead intoxication

Mohamed A. Fahim, Saeed Tariq, Ernest Adeghate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Lead (Pb) is known to cause abnormal function of several systems including the male reproductive system, where it has been shown to reduce sperm count. In order to examine the morphological basis of the reduction in sperm count and a possible effect of vitamin E, lead acetate (1. mg/kg body weight) was given to control and vitamin E-treated mice daily, intraperitoneally for 3 weeks. The testis and body of epididymis of the mice were subjected to electron microscopy study. Pb caused degenerative changes in spermatids inducing vacuolization and a reduction in the number of cytoplasmic organelles in Leydig cells. Pb also destroyed the stereocilia of epididymal epithelium. The addition of vitamin E ameliorated the severity of these morphological changes. In conclusion, Pb-induced reduction in sperm count may be due to changes in the ultrastructure of spermatids, epididymal epithelia and Leydig cells. These changes can be reduced by vitamin E.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Antioxidant
  • Electron microscopy
  • Epididymis
  • Lead
  • Spermatozoa
  • Testis
  • Toxicology
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology


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