FOOD AND CHEMICAL TOXICOLOGY, vol.51, pp.123-136, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
The present study is to investigate the effects of in utero di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHP) and dicyclohexyl phthalate exposure (DCHP) on the development of male reproductive tract at prepubertal, pubertal and adult stages. Pregnant rats were exposed to DHP and DCHP at doses of 0, 20, 100 and 500 mg/kg/day, by gavage, on gestational days (GD) 6-19. Testosterone (T) levels of prepubertal rats diminished at high dose DHP and middle dose DCHP groups. MIS/AMH levels elevated in DHP and DCHP groups. T levels of pubertal rats decreased in low and high dose DHP and DCHP groups. Inhibin B levels of adult rats diminished in DCHP groups. Atrophic and amorphous tubules, spermatogenic cell debris, apoptotic cells, adherent tubules, Sertoli cell vacuolisation, prostatic atrophic tubules and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) were observed in the reproductive organs of treated animals at all developmental stages. There was an increase in immunoexpression of MIS/AMH in testes of treated rats. There were no changes in sperm head count but percentages of abnormal sperms increased. The diameters of seminiferous and epididymal tubules in treatment groups were significantly lower. This study shows that DHP and DCHP may have antiandrogenic effects on male reproductive development before and after birth. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.