Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser.

This website may not display properly with Internet Explorer. For the best experience, please use a more recent browser such as the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and/or Mozilla Firefox. Thank you.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Boston University

Superfund Research Program

Stage-specific Actions of Cadmium During Spermatogenesis

Project Leader: Gloria V. Callard
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000

Learn More About the Grantee

Visit the grantee's eNewsletter page Visit the grantee's eNewsletter page Visit the grantee's Twitter page View the grantee's Factsheet(377KB)

Project Summary (1995-2000)

Objectives of this research are to study the effects of trace cadmium (Cd) levels on spermatogenesis. Epidemiological studies indicate that male gametes and the complex, hormone-regulated processes by which germ cell proliferation, development and survival are controlled, may be threatened by environmental contaminants. By virtue of a long biological half-life, cadmium (Cd) exemplifies a trace environmental pollutant with potential as a cumulative toxicant. Although spermatogenesis is exquisitely sensitive to Cd toxicity, attempts to pinpoint sensitive stages, cell-types and mechanisms of action have been hampered by the complex testicular organization of common laboratory mammals. A technically advantageous alternative is the shark testis, which facilitates analysis of spermatogenesis state-by-stage and allows intact germinal units to be isolated for experimentation and analysis in vitro. Experiments will be performed to test the hypothesis that Cd has direct access to germ cells in early developmental stages, is taken up by an active Cd-accumulating mechanism that is further amplified by enhanced metallothionein (Mt) expression, and activates a cell death program by perturbing normal control mechanisms.

to Top