A 2-generation reproductive toxicity study of tributyltin chloride (TBTCl) was conducted in male rats using dietary concentrations of 5, 25, and 125 ppm TBTCl to evaluate its effect on sexual development and the reproductive system. F1 males were killed on postnatal day 119 and F2 males were killed on postnatal day 91. TBTCl affected the male reproductive system of rats. The weights of the testis and epididymis were decreased and homogenization-resistant spermatid and sperm count were reduced mainly in the 125 ppm TBTCl group. Histopathologic changes were also observed in the testis of this group and included vacuolization of the seminiferous epithelium, spermatid retention, and delayed spermiation. However, the changes were minimal in nature. The weight of the ventral prostate was decreased to 84% of the control value in the 125 ppm group in the F1 generation and decreased to 84 and 69% of the control value in the 25 ppm and 125 ppm TBTCl groups, respectively, in the F2 generation. The serum 17 β-estradiol concentration was also decreased to 55% of the control value in the 125 ppm group in the F1 generation and decreased to 78 and 57% of the control value in the 25 ppm and 125 ppm TBTCl groups, respectively, in the F2 generation. However, the serum concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone were not decreased in these groups. These changes corresponded with those caused by aromatase inhibition and therefore TBTCl might be a weak aromatase inhibitor in male rats.
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