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Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 4;9(1):3409. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39913-9.

Independent and combined effects of diethylhexyl phthalate and polychlorinated biphenyl 153 on sperm quality in the human and dog.

Author information

1
School of Veterinary Medicine & Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK.
2
Hartpury University, Gloucester, GL19 3BE, UK.
3
Fertility Unit, East Block B floor, Nottingham University Hospital, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK.
4
School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK.
5
School of Veterinary Medicine & Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK. richard.lea@nottingham.ac.uk.

Abstract

A temporal decline in human and dog sperm quality is thought to reflect a common environmental aetiology. This may reflect direct effects of seminal chemicals on sperm function and quality. Here we report the effects of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153) on DNA fragmentation and motility in human and dog sperm. Human and dog semen was collected from registered donors (n = 9) and from stud dogs (n = 11) and incubated with PCB153 and DEHP, independently and combined, at 0x, 2x, 10x and 100x dog testis concentrations. A total of 16 treatments reflected a 4 × 4 factorial experimental design. Although exposure to DEHP and/or PCB153 alone increased DNA fragmentation and decreased motility, the scale of dose-related effects varied with the presence and relative concentrations of each chemical (DEHP.PCB interaction for: DNA fragmentation; human p < 0.001, dog p < 0.001; Motility; human p < 0.001, dog p < 0.05). In both human and dog sperm, progressive motility negatively correlated with DNA fragmentation regardless of chemical presence (Human: P < 0.0001, r = -0.36; dog P < 0.0001, r = -0.29). We conclude that DEHP and PCB153, at known tissue concentrations, induce similar effects on human and dog sperm supporting the contention of the dog as a sentinel species for human exposure.

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