Altered expression of daam1 and prep induced by cadmium toxicity is counteracted by melatonin in the rat testis

Massimo Venditti, Mariem Ben Rhouma, Maria Zelinda Romano, Imed Messaoudi, Russel J. Reiter, Sergio Minucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic pollutants for health due to its accumulation in several tissues, including testis. This report confirms that Cd increased oxidative stress and apoptosis of germ and somatic cells and provoked testicular injury, as documented by biomolecular and histological alterations, i.e., CAT and SOD activity, the protein level of steroidogenic enzymes (StAR and 3β-HSD), and morphometric parameters. Additionally, it further documents the melatonin (MLT) coadministration produces affects in mitigating Cd-induced toxicity on adult rat testis, as demonstrated by the reduction of oxidative stress and apoptosis, with reversal of the observed histological changes; moreover, a role of MLT in partially restoring steroidogenic enzymes expression was evidenced. Importantly, the cytoarchitecture of testicular cells was perturbed by Cd exposure, as highlighted by impairment of the expression and localization of two cytoskeleton-associated proteins DAAM1 and PREP, which are involved in the germ cells’ differentiation into spermatozoa, altering the normal spermatogenesis. Here, for the first time, we found that the co-treatment with MLT attenuated the Cd-induced toxicity on the testicular DAAM1 and PREP expression. The combined findings provide additional clues about a protective effect of MLT against Cd-induced testicular toxicity by acting on DAAM1 and PREP expression, encouraging further studies to prove its effectiveness in human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1016
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Cadmium
  • Cytoskeleton
  • DAAM1
  • Endocrine disrupters
  • Melatonin
  • Oxidative stress
  • PREP
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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