Nickel is associated with reproductive toxicity. However, the reproductive toxicity of nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) is unclear. Our goal was to determine the association between nickel nanoparticle exposure and reproductive toxicity. According to the one-generation reproductive toxicity standard, rats were exposed to nickel nanoparticles by gavage and we selected indicators including sex hormone levels, sperm motility, histopathology, and reproductive outcome etc
. Experimental results showed nickel nanoparticles increased follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), and lowered etradiol (E2
) serum levels at a dose of 15 and 45 mg/kg in female rats. Ovarian lymphocytosis, vascular dilatation and congestion, inflammatory cell infiltration, and increase in apoptotic cells were found in ovary tissues in exposure groups. For male rats, the weights decreased gradually, the ratio of epididymis weight over body weight increased, the motility of rat sperm changed, and the levels of FSH and testosterone (T) diminished. Pathological results showed the shedding of epithelial cells of raw seminiferous tubule, disordered arrangement of cells in the tube, and the appearance of cell apoptosis and death in the exposure group. At the same time, Ni NPs resulted in a change of the reproductive index and the offspring development of rats. Further research is needed to elucidate exposure to human populations and mechanism of actions.
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