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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An evaluation of the copulatory, endocrinologic, and spermatotoxic effects of carbon disulfide in the rat.

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the endocrinologic and spermatogenic effects of carbon disulfide (CS2) exposure in the rat. Adult, male rats were exposed to either 600 ppm CS2 or filtered air for 6 hr/day for 5 days/week for 10 weeks. One week prior to exposure and then at Weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10, males were placed with ovariectomized, hormonally primed females, and copulatory behaviors were scored. Fifteen minutes postcopulation, the female was killed and the ejaculate was recovered from the excised uterine tract along with the semen plug. Sperm counts, sperm motility, and morphology were determined. A blood sample was obtained for analyses of testosterone, follicle-stimulating (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). At the end of the 10th week, five animals in each group were challenged with either human chorionic gonadotropin ( HCG, 50 IU/animal, iv) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, 100 ng/animal, iv), and the testosterone or gonadotropin responses were monitored over time. Animals were subsequently killed with one epididymis and testis processed for histology and a sperm count determined from the other epididymis. Analysis revealed that CS2 exposure produced significant alterations in copulatory behavior and a decrease in ejaculated sperm counts by the fourth and seventh weeks of exposure, respectively. No endocrinologic alterations were observed. Moreover, caudal epididymal sperm counts were not depressed and the testes appeared histologically normal. These data suggest that CS2 does not exert a direct effect on the testes, but rather may interfere with the processes regulating sperm transport and ejaculation.[1]


  1. An evaluation of the copulatory, endocrinologic, and spermatotoxic effects of carbon disulfide in the rat. Zenick, H., Blackburn, K., Hope, E., Baldwin, D. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. (1984) [Pubmed]
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