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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1999 Sep 15;159(3):185-93.

2-Bromopropane causes ovarian dysfunction by damaging primordial follicles and their oocytes in female rats.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Ovarian dysfunction induced by 2-bromopropane (2-BP) has been described in female factory workers and experimental animals. However, the underlying mechanism is still unclear. To establish the reproductive target site and define mechanisms of 2-BP toxicity in adult female rats, we examined the effects of different doses and duration of exposure to 2-BP in female rats. In the dose-dependent experiments, female rats were exposed to 2-BP at 100, 300, or 1000 ppm or fresh air (n = 9 each) in exposure chambers for 8 h/day for 9 weeks. In the time-course experiments, female rats were exposed to 2-BP at 3000 ppm for 8 h (n = 7 each). The rats were then euthanized 1, 3, 5, and 17 days after exposure. Differential follicle counts and in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase assay were used to evaluate 2-BP effect on primordial, growing, and antral follicles. Exposure to 2-BP at 300 and 1000 ppm produced a significant reduction in the percentage of primordial, growing, and antral follicles in a dose-dependent manner. Significant reduction in the percentage of primordial follicles at 17 days after exposure was observed in time-course experiments. Exposure to 2-BP at 3000 ppm for 8 h resulted in histological changes in primordial follicles complex at 5 and 17 days after exposure. These changes consisted of distortion of the symmetry of oocytes and their nuclei at Day 5 after exposure and appearance of eccentric pyknotic cells and shrinkage of oocyte nuclei at Day 17 after exposure. In situ end labeling showed increased numbers of apoptotic oocytes and granulosa cells in primordial follicles at Days 5 and 17 after exposure. Our results suggested that ovarian dysfunction induced by 2-BP was caused by the destruction of primordial follicle and its oocyte due to the induction of apoptosis. Our studies also show that the follicle differential count is a more sensitive method than the vaginal smear in monitoring the female reproductive disorders induced by 2-BP.

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