Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.)

Histochemical tracing of bismuth in testis from rats exposed intraperitoneally to bismuth subnitrate.

PMID 10689204


The histochemical silver amplification technique autometallography (AMG), was used to trace bismuth in the testis of Wistar rats injected intraperitoneally with bismuth subnitrate. In the seminiferous tubules, bismuth was located in lysosomes of Sertoli cells closely associated with heads of spermatids in the late stages of the spermatogenesis, i.e. shortly before the release of Step 19 spermatids in Stage XIII. No bismuth-specific AMG silver grains were detected in the spermatogenic cell line. However, tails of free sperm cells located in the tubular lumen showed autometallographic grains in close contact to the nine outer microtubule doublets in the axonema. Leydig cells concentrated huge amounts of AMG-bismuth in their lysosomes. Furthermore, parallel exposure to selenium significantly increased the amount of histochemically traceable bismuth in the rat testis.