Health risk of human exposure to microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR) has aroused more and more attention over the past few decades. In the present study, MC-LR was orally administered to female mice at 0, 1, 10 and 40 mug/L for three and six months. We found that chronic exposure to MC-LR at environmental levels could stimulate follicle atresia and lead to decreased developmental follicles, accompanied by a reduction of gonadosomatic index (GSI). In line with the irregular gonadal hormone level and estrus cycles, subfertility of female mice was also confirmed by analyzing numbers of litters and pups. The in vitro study suggested that granulosa cells could uptake MC-LR and should be the target of the toxicant. Oxidative stress in granulose cells induced by MC-LR promoted follicle atresia and eventually leads to female subfertility.
Wu, J., Yuan, M., Song, Y., Sun, F., & Han, X. (2015). MC-LR exposure leads to subfertility of female mice and induces oxidative stress in granulosa cells. Toxins, 7(12), 5212–5223. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7124872