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J Steroid Biochem. 1989 Jul;33(1):141-6.

Testosterone metabolism in neuroendocrine organs in male rats under atrazine and deethylatrazine influence.

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Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Yugoslavia.


The inhibitory influence of atrazine and deethylatrazine on testosterone metabolism in male rat anterior pituitary and hypothalamus were studied under in vivo and in vitro experimental conditions. In vivo strong influence of atrazine (12 mg/100 g by wt. daily during 7 days) on 5 alpha-R, 3 alpha- and 17 beta-HSD activities was detected in the anterior pituitary. This dose provokes a significant increase in the weight of the pituitary gland, with hyperemia and hypertrophy of chromophobic cells with vacuolar degeneration. In vivo treatment of male rats with the same dose of deethylatrazine markedly inhibited 5 alpha-R activity in the anterior pituitary. The rate of 5 alpha-R activity inhibition in the anterior pituitary was the same after in vivo treatment with atrazine (37.3%) as with deethylatrazine (33.9%). This could suggest that the mechanism of inhibition of deethylatrazine is similar to that of atrazine. In vitro atrazine or deethylatrazine addition into the incubation medium significantly (P less than 0.01) inhibited 5 alpha-R, 3 alpha- and 17 beta-HSD activities in the anterior pituitary. The inhibition of 5 alpha-R activity was marked more by atrazine than deethylatrazine, while 3 alpha- and 17 beta-HSD activities were inhibited at the same rate. In vivo treatment with the same dose of atrazine or deethylatrazine (12 mg/100 g by wt daily 7 days) significantly inhibited (P less than 0.01) 5 alpha-R and 17 beta-HSD at the male rat hypothalamic level. 3 alpha-HSD activity inhibition was not significant for either compound. The in vitro addition of deethylatrazine was much more effective (P less than 0.01) in inhibiting 5 alpha-R, 3 alpha- and 17 beta-HSD in male rat hypothalamus than atrazine. In spite of this, deethylatrazine seems to be less toxic in in vivo experiments due to its higher polarity and faster biodegradation.

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