Abstract Title:

Effects of phthalates on the functions and fertility of mouse spermatozoa.

Abstract Source:

Toxicology. 2021 Mar 9 ;454:152746. Epub 2021 Mar 9. PMID: 33711355

Abstract Author(s):

Shehreen Amjad, Md Saidur Rahman, Won-Ki Pang, Do-Yeal Ryu, Elikanah Olusayo Adegoke, Yoo-Jin Park, Myung-Geol Pang

Article Affiliation:

Shehreen Amjad


Phthalates are common environmental pollutants that are presumed to negatively impact male fertility including animals and humans. Particularly, these potential xenoestrogens may alter male fertility by binding to specific sperm receptors. Although several studies have characterized the toxic effects of single phthalates, epidemiological studies indicate that humans are typically exposed to phthalate mixtures. Here, we tested an environmental-related phthalate combination composed of 21 % di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 15 % diisononyl phthalate, 8% diisobutyl phthalate, 15 % dibutyl phthalate, 35 % diethyl phthalate, and 5% benzylbutyl phthalate. Specifically, the effects of short-term exposure (90 min) to various concentrations (1, 10, 100, and 500 μg/mL) of this phthalate mixture on several important sperm processes, oocyte fertilization, and embryo production were assessed. All phthalate concentrations significantly decreased sperm motility and hyperactivity by compromising the sperm's ability to generate ATP. Additionally, short-term phthalate exposure (>10 μg/mL) also induced abnormal capacitation and the acrosome reaction by upregulating protein tyrosine phosphorylation via a protein kinase-A-dependent pathway. Furthermore, phthalate exposure (particularly at doses exceeding 10 μg/mL) significantly affected fertilization and early embryonic development. Together, our findings indicate that the studied phthalate mixtures adversely affected sperm motility, capacitation, and acrosome reaction, which resulted in poor fertilization rates and repressed embryonic development. Moreover, the lowest-observed-adverse-effect dose of the phthalate mixture tested can be assumed to be<1 μg/mL in vitro.

Study Type : Animal Study

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