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J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2008 Jun;43(7):675-81. doi: 10.1080/10934520801959815.

Alteration of sperm quality and hormone levels by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on airborne particulate particles.

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School of Community and Environmental Health, College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA.


The objective of this study was to assess whether polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) affect male reproductive functions in vivo. Male reproductive parameters included testis weight, sperm counts and motility, circulating follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone. The average body weight, testis weight, and epididymis weight in the exposed group were not significantly lower than that in the control group (p < 0.01). The daily numbers of sperm in the PAH-exposed groups were significantly lower than those in the control group. The motility of sperm in the PAH-exposed groups was significantly less than those in the control group. Plasma LH concentrations increased at the end of the exposure period and continued to increase after post-cessation of exposure to PAHs. Testosterone decreased at the end of the exposure period and increased after post-cessation of exposure. However, the follicle-stimulation hormone level remained relatively stable during the study period. The present study showed that PAHs can compromise sperm functions and alter endocrine hormone levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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