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The effect of heavy metals and drugs: association of cadmium with Ginkgo biloba and of cyclosporin with Heteropterys aphrodisiaca: evaluation of the testicles as to structure, ultrastructure and morphology in reproductive Wistar rats

Grant number: 06/00052-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2006 - August 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology
Principal Investigator:Mary Anne Heidi Dolder
Grantee:Mary Anne Heidi Dolder
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Studies of the interaction of heavy metals, drugs and medicinal herbs are very important to evaluate cases of involuntary contamination, the intentional use or even abuse of substances considered inoffensive to health. Along this line, cadmium has been shown to be an important contaminant due to its high toxicity and extensive bioaccumulation. The high degree of oxidative stress in contaminated organisms was identified as one of the causes of harm caused by cadmium. In the male reproductive system, cadmium can cause weight loss of testicles and accessory reproductive organs, through espermiogenesis inhibition, provoking apoptosis of spermatogenic cells and a reduction in the number of cells in the germ epithelium. Therefore, the use of Ginkgo biloba, that has an antioxidative action, could be important in the treatment of contaminated persons.We also propose the study of cyclosporin A, which is used as a potent immunosuppressor, widely applied in the therapy of transplanted organs and auto-immune illnesses. Although it is an essential medicine in some cases, various collateral effects have been verified, among them the diminished production of testosterone, which causes many alterations of the male reproductive system. An herb that stimulates the production of testosterone, Heteropterys aphrodisiaca, could alleviate these symptoms, especially in youths.Thus the association of these substances will be studied in reproductive male Wistar rats, evaluating structure, ultrastructure and morphometry of the testicles. The level of the serum testosterone will also be measured for these animals. (AU)