Abstract Title:

Decreased sperm number and motile activity on the F1 offspring maternally exposed to butyl p-hydroxybenzoic acid (butyl paraben).

Abstract Source:

J Vet Med Sci. 2002 Mar;64(3):227-35. PMID: 11999442

Abstract Author(s):

Kyung-Sun Kang, Jeong-Hwan Che, Doug-Young Ryu, Tae-Won Kim, Guang-Xun Li, Yong-Soon Lee

Article Affiliation:

Department of Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Suwon, Korea.


Butyl p-hydroxybenzoic acid (butyl paraben, BP) is widely used as a preservative in food and cosmetic products. Routledge et al showed that BP is weakly estrogenic in both in vitro and in vivo (rat uterotrophic) analyses. We investigated whether maternal exposures to BP during gestation and lactation periods affected the development of the reproductive organs of the F1 offspring. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously with 100 or 200 mg/kg of BP from gestation day (GD) 6 to postnatal day (PND) 20. In the group exposed to 200 mg/kg of BP, the proportion of pups born alive and the proportion of pups surviving to weaning were decreased. The body weights of female offspring were significantly decreased at PND 49. The weights of testes, seminal vesicles and prostate glands were significantly decreased in rats exposed to 100 mg/kg of BP on PND 49. In contrast, the weights of female reproductive organs were not affected by BP. The sperm count and the sperm motile activity in the epididymis were significantly decreased at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg of BP. In accordance with the sperm count in the epididymis, the number of round spermatids and elongated spermatids in the seminiferous tubule (stage VII) were significantly decreased by BP. Testicular expression of estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and ER-beta mRNA was significantly increased in 200 mg/kg of BP treated group at PND 90. Taken together, these results indicated that maternal exposure of BP might have adverse effects on the F1 male offspring.

Study Type : Animal Study

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