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Environ Toxicol Chem 1991 Jun;10(6):737-46

Early postnatal exposure to PCBs: Sperm function in rats

Sager D, Girard D, Nelson D


Our previous studies have found that early exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through milk of the dam can affect fertility when male offspring reach adulthood. A significant proportion of ovulated eggs in normal females mated to PCB-exposed males do not implant. This effect does not appear to be related to reduced weight gain of pups during PCB exposure. In this study, dams with litters were given peanut oil or a PCB mixture (Aroclor 1254) in oil at doses of 8, 16, 32 and 64 ¿g/g (PCBI, II, III, IV) on days 1,3,5,7 and 9 of lactation. At 120 d of age the male offspring were mated to normal females. Oviducts/uteri of sperm-positive females were flushed and eggs examined at the expected pronuclear, two- to four-cell and blastocyst stages of development. We observed either a significant decrease or a decline in number and percent of normal fertilized eggs and eggs at the two- to four-cell and blastocyst stages in females mated to male offspring of PCBII, III and IV. Neither reduced ventral prostate weights nor an increased incidence of a right kidney abnormality were correlated with reduced fertility. Caudal sperm reserves, sperm production, epididymal sperm morphology and FSH levels were not affected; testosterone levels were not reduced as compared to those of controls. With one exception, epididymal sperm motility parameters were not significantly different. It appears that early postnatal exposure to PCBs affects ability of sperm to fertilize eggs but not production, morphology or motility of epididymal sperm.

Category: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1002/etc.5620100605
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Regulatory Affairs
Entry Created: 2012-12-21 Entry Last Modified: 2013-01-03