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Reprod Toxicol. 2010 Jun;29(3):323-31. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2009.12.006. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Changes in testicular morphology and steroidogenesis in adult rats exposed to Atrazine.

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  • 1Department of Morphology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


Atrazine is an herbicide considered as a potent endocrine disruptor, causing adverse effects on both gender of mammalian and non-mammalian species. Despite the known adverse effects of Atrazine, little is known about its action on male genital system, especially in adults. We evaluated the effects of Atrazine (50 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 300 mg/kg) in the 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) expression, plasmatic and testicular estrogen and testosterone levels, androgen receptor expression and morphological changes in adult rat testes. Atrazine at doses higher than 50 mg/kg resulted in decreased body weight, increased adrenal weight and transient increase in testis weight, followed by testis atrophy. A reduction in testosterone but increase in estradiol levels was observed. We showed for the first time that testicular 3beta-HSD protein was decreased, whereas in the adrenal it was unchanged. The results suggest that 3beta-HSD inhibition may represent an alternative mechanism through which Atrazine affects the testicular androgenesis, leading to changes in spermatogenesis.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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