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Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2012 Nov;34(3):688-93. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2012.09.020. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Effects of isoflurane inhalation on the male reproductive system in rats.

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School of Public Health, Xuzhou Medical College, 84 West Huai-hai Road, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221002, China.


The 15-day intact adult male assay was used to evaluate effects of isoflurane on the testes and sexual hormones. Forty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups exposed to air containing 0, 50, 300, 1800 or 10,800 ppm isoflurane. After the treatments, serum was collected for the hormones assay. The right testis was to be used for daily sperm production. The left testis was processed for histopathology and electron microscopy observation. Daily sperm productions were significantly decreased at doses of 300, 1800 and 10,800 ppm. Impaired seminiferous tubules were noted at doses of 300, 1800 and 10,800 ppm. Ultrastructural changes included nucleus agglutination of spermatocytes, big lipid drops and autophagosome in cytoplasm. The serum follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone concentrations reduced significantly at doses of 1800 and 10,800 ppm. Isoflurane induced impairments of seminiferous tubules and spermatogenesis. The testicular damages caused by isoflurane can be related to the imbalances in the sexual hormones.

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