Evaluation of offspring sex ratio, sex hormones and antioxidant enzymes following exposure to methyl tertiary butyl ether in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats
Keywords:Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), sex ratio, sex hormones, antioxidant enzymes
Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is an oxygenated fuel additive which has been used widely in many parts of the world. This experiment was performed to determine the effect of MTBE on offspring sex ratio, sex hormones and antioxidant enzymes. A total of 20 adult Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into four groups and received 0, 400, 800 and 1600 mg/kg/day MTBE by gavages for 30 consecutive days. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were taken for determination of sex hormones and antioxidant enzymes. Then, male rats were mated with healthy unexposed female rats and sex of offspring was determined after birth. Sex ratio was 0.48, 0.50, 0.43 and 0.50 in 0, 400, 800 and 1600 mg/kg/day MTBE groups, respectively (P = 0.91). There was significant decreasing trend for luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone in experimental groups (rs = -0.50, P = 0.030 and rs = -0.67, P = 0.002, respectively). No changes were observed for superoxide dismutase. However, decrease in glutathione peroxidase (GPX) was observed in all treatment groups compared with control which was significant in 400 mg/kg/day MTBE group (P = 0.016). The present study showed that paternal exposure to oral MTBE has no effect on offspring sex ratio; while, MTBE exposure could exert dose-dependent changes in serum testosterone and LH in treatment groups. The results of the present study, need to be clarified in the future studies.
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