Repeated administrations of carbon nanotubes in male mice cause reversible testis damage without affecting fertility

Yuhong Bai, Yi Zhang, Jingping Zhang, Qingxin Mu, Weidong Zhang, Elizabeth R. Butch, Scott E. Snyder, Bing Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

196 Scopus citations


Soluble carbon nanotubes show promise as materials for in vivo delivery and imaging applications. Several reports have described the in vivo toxicity of carbon nanotubes, but their effects on male reproduction have not been examined. Here, we show that repeated intravenous injections of water-soluble multiwalled carbon nanotubes into male mice can cause reversible testis damage without affecting fertility. Nanotubes accumulated in the testes, generated oxidative stress and decreased the thickness of the seminiferous epithelium in the testis at day 15, but the damage was repaired at 60 and 90 days. The quantity, quality and integrity of the sperm and the levels of three major sex hormones were not significantly affected throughout the 90-day period. The fertility of treated male mice was unaffected; the pregnancy rate and delivery success of female mice that mated with the treated male mice did not differ from those that mated with untreated male mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-689
Number of pages7
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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