Fenvalerate, A Pyrethroid Insecticide, Adversely Affects Sperm Production and Storage in Male Rats
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The aim of this study was to investigate the potential estrogenic activity of fenvalerate by examining reproductive and fertility capabilities in Wistar rats. Adult male animals were treated for 30 d with 20 or 40 mg/kg/d fenvalerate or corn oil (vehicle) by oral gavage. Further, a possible estrogenic activity of fenvalerate (0.4, 1, 4, 8, or 40 mg/kg) was tested after a 3-d treatment of immature female rats using the uterotrophic assay. Exposure to the higher dose of fenvalerate was toxic to testis and epididymis as shown by a decrease in the absolute weights and sperm counts in both organs. Although the sperm counts were reduced, the fertility and sexual behavior were similar in control rats and rats treated with 40 mg/kg pesticide. Fenvalerate did not exert estrogenic activity in vivo at the tested doses. Data suggest that fenvalerate treatment in this study failed to compromise fertility, possibly due to enhanced reproductive capacity in rodents compared to humans.