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Effects of lead exposure on sperm quality and reproductive success in an avian model

AuthorsVallverdú-Coll, Núria ; Mougeot, François ; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E. ; Castaño, Cristina; Santiago-Moreno, Julián; Mateo, Rafael
Issue Date2016
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationEnvironmental Science and Technology 50(22): 12484-12492 (2016)
AbstractLead (Pb) poisoning via ingestion of shot pellets is a frequent cause of death in wild birds and also has a wide range of subclinical effects. Here we report on the sublethal effects Pb exposure has on the breeding performance of red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa). We studied the effects of Pb exposure on sperm quality, reproductive success, egg properties, laying performance, antioxidant levels, and carotenoid-based coloration. Birds were exposed by oral gavage to one or three No. 6 Pb shot pellets (2.8 mm in diameter, mean mass ± SD: 109 ± 7.97 mg). We show that exposure to three pellets (330 mg) reduced the hatching rate of females and decreased the acrosome integrity and sperm motility of males. In addition, females exposed to 1 pellet (110 mg) produced heavier eggs and chicks, whereas males exposed to 1 pellet presented an increase in sperm vigor. Sperm viability, concentration, progressiveness or fecundation rate were not affected by Pb treatment. Pb exposure increased circulating antioxidant levels in males, whereas the percentage of carotenoid-pigmented eye-ring area decreased in exposed females. Several sperm parameters showed positive relationships with coloration and antioxidant levels, suggesting that males displaying redder ornaments may be more capable of protecting sperm from oxidative stress in the event of sublethal Pb exposure.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04231
issn: 0013-936X
e-issn: 1520-5851
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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