Ping Wu, Lu Yuan, Disi Bai, Junjian Zhao, Peijun Shen, Qingzhao Li, Liyuan Bai, Yanjie Xiong
SnS 2 nanoflowers (SnS 2 NFs) have been widely used in photoelectric and catalytic applications. However, its explosure and reproductive toxicity is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exposure to three different sized-SnS 2 flowers (dose: 38 mg/Kg; size: 50, 80 and 200 nm) in testes of mice for 4 weeks by intraperitoneal injection. Though the body weight of mice treated or not with SnS 2 NFs was not different, and SnS 2 NFs were distributed to the organs including liver, kidney, spleen, heart, brain and testis, more distribution SnS 2 NFs (50 and 80 nm) were found in testicle tissues compared with SnS 2 flowers (200 nm) in those tissues. The results of sperm count and survival analysis, histopathological evaluation and qRT-PCR detection showed that there was moderate reproductive toxicity induced by the small-sized SnS 2 NFs in testicle tissues. Furthermore, elevated MDA level and decreased SOD activity were also observed in the SnS 2 NFs (dose: 38 mg/Kg; size: 50 and 80 nm) treated groups. Likewise, the qRT-PCR data indicated that SnS 2 NFs can induce apoptosis and inflammation responses. Although the pro-inflammation marker of TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS and COX-2 at the mRNA levels were higher expression in 50 and 80 nm groups than that in control and 200 nm group, no statistical significance existed between 50 and 80 nm groups. Accordingly, the repeated-dose toxicity of SnS 2 NFs in testicle tissues was also observed in a dose-dependent manner by intraperitoneal injection of SnS 2 NFs (size: 50 nm; 0.38mg/Kg, 3.8 mg/Kg, 38 mg/Kg) for 4 weeks, when determined by sperm count, survival rate and qRT-PCR analysis. In addition, transmission electron microscopy showed that the ultrastructural abnormalities formed by the small-sized SnS 2 NFs in testes were more severe than those formed by the large-sized SnS 2 in testes. Taken together, these findings implied that the SnS 2 NFs activated inflammation responses that signified apoptosis in murine testes. This study provided useful information for risk analysis and regulation of SnS 2 NFs by administration agencies.