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Type: Journal article
Title: Maternal exposure to dibutyl phthalate (Dbp) or diethylstilbestrol (des) leads to long-term changes in hypothalamic gene expression and sexual behavior
Author: Hunter, D.
Heng, K.
Mann, N.
Anand-Ivell, R.
Ivell, R.
Citation: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021; 22(8):1-14
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1661-6596
Statement of
Damien Hunter, Kee Heng, Navdeep Mann, Ravinder Anand-Ivell and Richard Ivell
Abstract: Xenobiotic exposure during pregnancy and lactation has been linked to perinatal changes in male reproductive outcomes and other endocrine parameters. This pilot study wished to assess whether brief maternal exposure of rats to xenobiotics dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or diethylstilbestrol (DES) might also cause long-term changes in hypothalamic gene expression or in reproductive behavior of the resulting offspring. Time-mated female Sprague Dawley rats were given either DBP (500 mg/kg body weight, every second day from GD14.5 to PND6), DES (125 µg/kg body weight at GD14.5 and GD16.5 only), or vehicle (<i>n</i> = 8-12 per group) and mild endocrine disruption was confirmed by monitoring postnatal anogenital distance. Hypothalamic RNA from male and female offspring at PND10, PND24 and PND90 was analyzed by qRT-PCR for expression of aromatase, oxytocin, vasopressin, ER-alpha, ER-beta, kisspeptin, and GnRH genes. Reproductive behavior was monitored in male and female offspring from PND60 to PND90. Particularly, DES treatment led to significant changes in hypothalamic gene expression, which for the oxytocin gene was still evident at PND90, as well as in sexual behavior. In conclusion, maternal xenobiotic exposure may not only alter endocrine systems in offspring but, by impacting on brain development at a critical time, can have long-term effects on male or female sexual behavior.
Keywords: hypothalamus; endocrine disruption; sexual behavior; oxytocin; kisspeptin
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22084163
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