Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Meleq Williams - Claflin University
Toxic heavy metal ions have harmful effects on the male reproductive system. Cobalt is a toxic metal ion that has adverse effects on spermatogenesis causing infertility. Sertoli cells are particularly involved with the regulation of the process of spermatogenesis. In prior studies, the toxic effects of cobalt were mitigated by the essential trace element zinc, exhibiting partial protection in vivo. The purpose of the present study is to determine the specific role of Sertoli cell regulation in the mechanism of cobalt reproductive toxicity. In our current experiments, we determined changes in intracellular cobalt and zinc ion concentrations in cobalt-treated Sertoli cells. Cobalt, but not zinc levels were altered. We also evaluated the alterations in gene expression of Sertoli cells treated in vitro with cobalt. Results indicate that there are a large number of genes which were significantly affected at each cobalt concentration as compared with controls (523 genes for [Co]= 10 M and 5512 genes for [Co]= 33 M). Significance level was set at a >2-fold change, p< 0.05. This research will further define the role of the Sertoli cell in the detrimental reproductive effects of cobalt on spermatogenesis.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by Dr. Nancy G. Pedigo of Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy, the Claflin University-HBCU-UP Program, and the National Science Foundation (Grant number # HRD-1332516 Implementation Project: Transforming Computational STEM Education at Claflin University).
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Pedigo,