Effects of in utero exposure to chlorpyriphos-ethyl on male rat fertility

Augustave Kenfack, Akono Edouard Nantia, Ferdinand Ngoula, Bertin Narcisse Vemo, Pierre Kamtchouing, Joseph Tchoumboue


Background: Chlorpyriphos-ethyl (CE) is an organophosphate insecticide largely used in our communities for crop protection and hygienic purposes and limited data is available on its toxicity after prenatal exposure. In this study the effects CE were evaluated on the fertility in male rats exposed prenatally to the pesticide.
Methods: Four groups of primiparous pregnant rats were orally given every two days a dose of CE (0.00, 3.50, 4.25 or 10.50 mg.kg-1 of body weight) for the whole gestational period. After delivery, male offspring were bred for 4 months without treatment and fifteen days to the end, each male was housed with 2 females for the fertility test. At the end of the experimental period, animals were weighed and then sacrificed and reproductive organs collected. The right cauda epididymis was used for the evaluation of sperm motility and concentration while the testis was submitted to histopathology analysis.
Results: No significant effect (P > 0.05) was shown on reproductive organ weights in rat born from CE-treated female as compared to the control group. The epididymal sperm count was comparable (P > 0.05) among treatments, but the highest dose of CE, 10.50mg.kg-1 significantly decreased (P < 0.05) the percentage of motile sperms in male rats pups. This dose also induced an over spacing in animal testicular seminiferous tubules. The fertility rate was not significantly low in male rats prenatally exposed to 3.50mg.kg-1.
Conclusion: These data suggest that in utero exposure of male rats to CE can lead to adverse effects such as decrease sperm motility with alteration of seminiferous tubules and slight reduced fertility.