Lactational exposure of male rat pups to nonylphenols (NPs) decreased the size of their testes and male accessory glands. At 31 d of age, NP- treatment of male rats resulted in less cellular differentiation of the seminiferous tubules (STs) and increased intertubular space compared to controls. At maturity, NP-treated males showed varying degrees of abnormalities in the affected testes. In the moderately affected ones, about 20-30% of their STs had poorly differentiated germinal elements. Cell lineage was less organized. In extreme cases, all STs of the affected testis failed to differentiate into germinal elements. These abnormalities in germinal element differentiation might be the primary cause for a number of the NP- treated males having a lower epididymal sperm count and a lower percentage of motile sperm compared to age-matched control males. Zymogram analysis of testis homogenates by sodium dodecyl sulfate gelatin gels revealed two major forms (64-66 kDa and 50-52 kDa) of gelatinases. Only the 50-52-kDa form was greatly reduced or absent in the affected testis. Lactational exposure of male pups to NPs thus leads to various testicular abnormalities including lack of differentiation of STs, lowering of sperm count, and reduction in the percentage of motile sperm and modulation of a specific form of testicular proteinases.
- Sperm counts
- Sperm motility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism