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Mutat Res. 2000 Feb 14;447(2):149-54.

Association of cyclophosphamide-induced male-mediated, foetal abnormalities with reduced paternal germ-cell apoptosis.

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Institute of Reproductive Medicine of the University, Domagkstrasse 11, D-48129, M√ľnster, Germany.


To investigate the mechanism by which malformed offspring can result from the exposure of males to mutagens, we treated adult male rats with 0, 1.4, 3.4 or 5.1 mg/kg cyclophosphamide, 6 days per week for 9 weeks, a treatment regimen known to induce heritable abnormalities. Testis samples from some of the animals were then collected for fixation in Carnoy's fluid and subsequent analysis of germ-cell apoptosis and proliferation. The remainder were mated, resulting in a greater than 11-fold increase in the proportion of abnormal offspring produced in the 5.1 mg/kg group. The number of apoptotic cells per stage XII/XIII tubular cross-section decreased with increasing dose, significantly so at 5.1 mg/kg (P<0.05). No statistically significant effect was found on spermatocyte numbers at this dose, indicating that a reduction in the amount of cells available to undergo apoptosis cannot explain the decrease. The inappropriate survival of damaged germ-cells caused by a lowering of the incidence of apoptosis may, therefore, account for the rise in the proportion of foetal malformations.

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