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Biol Reprod. 1987 Oct;37(3):709-17.

The fungicide methyl 2-benzimidazole carbamate causes infertility in male Sprague-Dawley rats.

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  • 1Health Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711.


A serial breeding technique was used to evaluate the fertility of male Sprague-Dawley rats after exposure to the fungicide carbendazim (methyl 2-benzimidazole carbamate). Proven-fertile male rats (90 days old) received 10 daily doses of corn oil or carbendazim (400 mg/kg/day) peroral. Each male was bred with a new female each week; breeding began on the third day of treatment and continued for 32 wk after the last day of chemical exposure. Twelve days after each breeding period, the females were killed, their uteri were examined for resorptions, and the number of dead and viable fetuses was determined. All males were killed 35 wk post exposure, and testicular tissue was prepared for histopathological examination by vascular perfusion. Fertility (percent fertile as indicated by pregnant females) of males in the carbendazim-treated group was depressed the first post-exposure week; 10 of the 24 treated males failed to produce a pregnant female as compared with no failures in the control group. By the fifth post-exposure week, 16 of the 24 carbendazim-treated males were infertile. Of these 16 males, 4 recovered fertility after a failure to produce a pregnant female for 5-11 consecutive breeding periods. However, 12 of the males did not recover fertility during the remainder of the 32-wk post-exposure period. Histological examinations of testicular sections 245 days post exposure revealed that exposure to carbendazim caused severe seminiferous tubular atrophy (greater than 85% of tubules were atrophic) in those carbendazim-treated males that failed to recover fertility.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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