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J Appl Toxicol. 2010 May;30(4):369-77. doi: 10.1002/jat.1507.

Pubertal and early adult exposure to fenvalerate disrupts steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis in mice at adulthood.

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Department of Toxicology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230032, China.


Fenvalerate, a pyrethroid insecticide used worldwide, has been shown to have a potentially adverse effect on male reproduction. Our earlier study showed that maternal fenvalerate exposure during lactation impaired testicular development in male offspring. In this study, we investigated the effects of pubertal and early adult exposure to fenvalerate on steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis in mice. Male mice were administered fenvalerate (60 mg/kg) by gavage daily from postnatal day 35 (PND35) to PND63. Results showed that sperm count was significantly decreased in fenvalerate-treated mice. In addition, fenvalerate markedly decreased the layers of spermatogenic cells, disturbed the array of spermatogenic cells and increased the number of apoptotic cells in testes. The adverse effects of fenvalerate on male reproduction seemed to be associated with a decrease in serum and testicular testosterone (T). Although pubertal and early adult exposure to fenvalerate had little effect on the number of Leydig cells in testes, mRNA and protein levels of testicular T biosynthetic enzymes including P450(17alpha) and P450scc were significantly downregulated in fenvalerate-treated mice. In conclusion, pubertal and early adult fenvalerate exposure induces a deleterious effect on steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis in adulthood. The decreased testicular T synthesis partially contributes to fenvalerate-induced impairment on spermatogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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