With the development of ultra-high-voltage direct-current (UHVDC) transmission technology and increase in transmission voltage, the issue of environmental static electric field (SEF) pollution is standing out and its possible health effects have caused much public attention. In this study, the effects of chronic exposure to SEF on reproductive capacity of male mice were investigated. Twenty Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were exposed to SEF (56.3 ± 1.4 kV/m, 49 days) generated by a high-voltage device. Several biological end points related to spermatogenesis and testicular function were evaluated, including reproductive organ coefficients, sperm motility and morphology, serum testosterone level, and testicular histology. No significant differences were found between the SEF-exposed and sham-exposed groups at the end of the exposure period. However, further observation through transmission electron microscopy revealed cristae losses in mitochondria of spermatogenic cells after SEF exposure. Nevertheless, the mitochondria injury did not affect sperm motility, which might be explained from the perspective of energy supply. That is, most of the energy required for sperm movement is generated by glycolysis which occurs in the cytoplasm rather than oxidative phosphorylation which occurs in mitochondria. In conclusion, this study indicates that exposure to SEF (56.3 ± 1.4 kV/m, 49 days) has limited effects on male reproductive capacity.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 17, 2017
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