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Atrazine induces penis abnormalities including hypospadias in mice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2019

Luke C. Govers
Affiliation:
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Alesia P. Harper
Affiliation:
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Bethany J. Finger
Affiliation:
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Deidre M. Mattiske
Affiliation:
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Andrew J. Pask
Affiliation:
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Mark P. Green
Affiliation:
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Use of the herbicide atrazine (ATR) is banned in the European Union; yet, it is still widely used in the USA and Australia. ATR is known to alter testosterone and oestrogen production and thus reproductive characteristics in numerous species. In this proof of concept study, we examined the effect of ATR exposure, at a supra-environmental dose (5 mg/kg bw/day), beginning on E9.5 in utero, prior to sexual differentiation of the reproductive tissues, until 26 weeks of age, on the development of the mouse penis. Notably, this is the first study to specifically investigate whether ATR can affect penis characteristics. We show that ATR exposure, beginning in utero, causes a shortening (demasculinisation) of penis structures and increases the incidence of hypospadias in mice. These data indicate the need for further studies of ATR on human reproductive development and fertility, especially considering its continued and widespread use.

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press and the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2019

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Footnotes

Joint senior authors

References

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