Reproductive changes in male rats treated perinatally with an aromatase inhibitor
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The effects of maternal exposure to aromatase inhibitor during the perinatal period of sexual brain differentiation were studied. The fertility was assessed in adult, male rat offspring of aromatase inhibitor-treated dams. The following results were obtained: (1) Sexual maturation, body weight, and wet weights of testis, pituitary, seminal vesicle, ventral prostate, and levatori ani muscle were unchanged at adult life. (2) Fifty percent of the animals were able to mate with normal females, which became pregnant but exhibited an increased number of preimplantation loss. (3) There was a decrease in the number of spermatozoa found in the testes and in the daily sperm production. (4) Of those, 25% of the male rats treated with aromatase inhibitor did not present male sexual behavior, showing female behavior when pretreated with estrogen. These results indicate that perinatal exposure to aromatase inhibitor during the critical period of male brain sexual differentiation has a long-term effect on the reproductive physiology and behavior of male rats. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.