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Perinatal exposure to low doses of tributyltin chloride reduces sperm count and quality in mice



Exposure to endocrine disruptors (EDs) during early development might lead to adverse health outcomes later in life. Tributyltin (TBT), a proven ED, is widely used in consumer goods and industrial products. Herein we demonstrate the effects of low doses of tributyltin chloride (TBTCl) on reproduction of male KM mice. Pregnant mice were administered by gavage with 0, 1, 10, or 100 μg TBTCl/kg body weight/day from day 6 of pregnancy through the period of lactation. TBTCl dramatically decreased sperm counts and motility on postnatal days (PNDs) 49 and 152. Meanwhile, a significant increase in sperm abnormality was observed in exposed mice on PND 49, but comparable to that in the control on PND 152. The histopathological analysis of testes of treated animals showed a dose-dependent increase in sloughing of germ cells in seminiferous tubules. Mice treated with 10 μg TBTCl/kg exhibited decreased intratesticular 17β-estradiol (E2) levels on PND 49, and then followed by an obvious recovery on PND 152. While, no significant differences in serum E2, testosterone (T) levels and intratesticular T levels were detectable between control and TBTCl-exposed offspring at the sacrifice. These results suggest that perinatal TBTCl exposure is implicated in causing long lasting alterations in male reproductive system and these changes may persist far into adulthood. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 30: 44–52, 2015.