Inhibition of spermatogenesis in rainbow trout during chronic cyanide poisoning

Research paper by Sylvia M. Ruby, D. George Dixon, Gérard Leduc

Indexed on: 01 Sep '79Published on: 01 Sep '79Published in: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology


This study involves a histological examination of the testicular tissue to assess, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the effects of an 18-day exposure of juvenile male rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri, to cyanide in laboratory flow-through aquaria at 12.5°C. Test concentrations of 0.01 and 0.03 mg/L HCN reduced the number of dividing spermatogonia by 13 and 50% respectively. The exposure to cyanide led to an increase in the prophase stage spermatogonia which appeared to be due to a blockage of mitotic progress.Cyanide also affected the formation of the mitotic spindle at the lower cyanide concentration as evidenced by the presence of multipolar spindles and multinucleate interphase cells. Cellular damage was evident in spermatogonia in all phases of the cell cycle accompanied by a high incidence of necrosis at the higher cyanide concentration. It is suggested that short-term exposure to sublethal concentrations of cyanide may cause permanent damage to the fixed number of primary spermatogonia within the testis, thereby reducing the reproductive capacity of this species.