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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Aspects of Biological Changes in Breeder Toms after Treatment with Subcutaneous Cadmium Injection: Study of Some Semen Characteristics

item Cecil Helene C,
item Bakst, Murray

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Animal Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1993
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential trace mineral known to have toxicological effects on animals if ingested. It is sometimes found as a contaminant of poultry feed, particularly in less developed countries. This study examine the effects of cadmium chloride on semen production in male breeder turkeys. Although cadmium concentrations in the semen were significantly higher than controls, sperm viability based on live/dead staining were not significantly different from controls. It was concluded that semen cadmium concentration may be a good index of cadmium exposure in the male turkey.

Technical Abstract: Changes in reproduction parameters of breeder roms injected with cadmium chloride were studied. Each treated member of 24 pairs of yearling toms was given 4.5mg Cd/kg body weight. Sex birds each were subsequently killed at 0, 6, 24, and 192 h and evaluated for selected semen characteristics. Evaluated (P is less than 0.001) Cd concentration was observed in the seminal plasma of the treated toms due possibly to Cd- induced inactivation of the blood-testis barrier. However, the 5-fold increase in the Cd level hardly inflicted any injurious effect on the cellular integrity of the sperm cells since live/dead percentage of spermatozoa did not differ significantly from that of control. Among other possible mechanisms Cd sequestration could have protected the sperm cells. It is further suggested that the level of Cd in seminal plasma could be used as a reliable index of Cd exposure in toms and could also provide useful baseline information for comparison with the unexposed bird. Other semen characteristics also were not affected (P is greater than 0.05) by Cd treatment indicating that turkeys are more resistant to Cd-induced testicular impairment as compared to mammals.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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