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Are Nanoparticles Potential Male Reproductive Toxicants? A Literature Review

M. McAuliffe, M. J. Perry
Published 2007 · Biology

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The rapid advancement of nanotechnology has prompted the need to investigate the health effects of nanoparticles and nanomaterials. The current focus of health and safety investigations has targeted routes of exposure and potential deposition, translocation, and adverse effects in primary and major secondary target organs. Few studies have looked at deposition in reproductive organs, and even fewer have assessed potential adverse effects on germline cells. This review summarizes the current published research on deposition/translocation of nanoparticles to the testes and male germline cells, and the potential cytotoxic effects. Six research articles were identified. Three articles pertained to deposition/translocation of nanoparticles in the testes, two pertained to cytotoxicity of nanoparticles on male germline cells, and one study assessed deposition and bioaccumulation of nanoparticles in the testes, and potential for adverse reproductive outcomes in successive offspring. While research into the potential reproductive toxicity of nanoparticles is still in its infancy, the identified research suggests that nanoparticles cross the blood testes barrier and deposit in the testes, and that there is potential for adverse effects on sperm cells. Suggestions for future research strategies are outlined.
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