Author(s): Babineau KA, Singh A, Jarrell JF
Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is a toxic and carcinogenic chemical that has been implicated in female reproductive dysfunctions, including destruction of ovarian follicles in primates. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of HCB on ovary surface epithelium (SE). Gelatin capsules containing HCB mixed with glucose were given to 16 cynomolgus monkeys housed under controlled conditions in dosages of 0.0, 0.1, 1.0, or 10.0 mg/kg body weight daily, for 90 days; the first group served as the control. At necropsy one ovary from each animal was removed, fixed in glutaraldehyde, and processed by conventional methods for examination by transmission electron microscopy. SE from the animals in control group consisted of a single layer of squamous-to-cuboidal cells which possessed microvilli and contained cytoplasm rich in organelles; the nuclei were placed in middle of the cells. Although the types of alteration were similar in the treated groups, the degree of severity increased with increasing dose levels. In the lowest dose group (0.1 mg/kg) tested, stratification of cells was observed in some areas. Many cells were tall columnar, highly irregular in outline, and showed signs of degeneration. The nuclei had migrated toward the apical surface. Cytoplasm contained a large number of lysosomes, and numerous vesicles, which may have been swollen endoplasmic reticulum. In the 10 mg/kg group the affected cells were in advanced stages of degeneration. These observations support the evidence that HCB is a potent reproductive toxicant. Further studies are required to establish the effects of this damage on reproductive performance.