Effects of environmental radiation on testes and spermatogenesis in wild large Japanese field mice (Apodemus speciosus) from Fukushima
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident that occurred after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 released large quantities of radionuclides to the environment. The long-term effects of radioactive cesium (Cs) on biota are of particular concern. We investigated the accumulation of radioactive Cs derived from the FDNPP accident, and chronic effects of environmental radionuclides on male reproduction, in the large Japanese field mouse (Apodemus speciosus). In 2013 and 2014, wild mice were captured at 2 sites in Fukushima Prefecture and at 2 control sites that were distant from Fukushima. Although the median concentrations of 134Cs and 137Cs in the mice from Fukushima exceeded 4,000 Bq/kg, there were no significant differences in the apoptotic cell frequencies or the frequencies of morphologically abnormal sperm among the capture sites. Thus, we conclude that radiation did not cause substantial male subfertility in Fukushima during 2013 and 2014, and radionuclide pollution levels in the study sites would not be detrimental to spermatogenesis of the wild mice in Fukushima.