Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 185, Issue 1, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Chronic Exposure to Water of Lake Qaroun Induced Metal-Related Testicular Damage and Endocrine Disruption in Male Fish

  • Amr A. Abdel-KhalekEmail author


The uncontrolled releasing of hazardous wastes into Lake Qaroun was adversely impacting the aquatic environment and its biota. Therefore, this approach was designed to investigate the impact of these discharges on the reproductive and testicular function of Oreochromis niloticus. Several biomarkers were applied on the testicular tissues as metal bioaccumulation levels, histological examination with recording the ovotestis appearance and antioxidant status after 45 days of exposure to 0, 10, 20, & 30% of Lake Qaroun water (LQW). The bioaccumulated Cu, Mn, Fe, Pb, and Cd were unequally distributed in the testes but all these metals showed a significant concentration-dependent elevation among the studied groups. The exposure to LQW significantly increased the histological alterations in the testicular tissues as vacuolar degeneration, loss of tubular organization, and degeneration of Leydig cell. Based on the frequent appearance of histopathological abnormalities and ovotestis recording, the most deformed testicular tissues were observed in the 30% LQW-exposed groups. The ovotestis severity index (OSI) was significantly raised in LQW-exposed groups compared to the control group. The activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase as well as glutathione-reduced levels were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased in testes after chronic exposure to LQW. On the other pole, the activities of glutathione peroxidase enzyme and malondialdehyde formation were sharply increased. In view of the above, the exposure to LQW induced metal-related oxidative damage to the testicular tissues and impaired the male reproductive health. This study showed strong correlations between the anthropogenic activities around Lake Qaroun and the reproductive dysfunction in fish.


Metal accumulation Endocrine disruptors Oxidative stress 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

“All procedures performed in this study involving animals (fish) were in accordance with the ethical standards of Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at which the studies were conducted.”

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Medical Science Department, Faculty of DentistryThe British University in EgyptCairoEgypt

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