Role of early GnRH administration in sexual behavior disorders of rat pups perinatally exposed to lead
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The effects of maternal exposure to lead (Pb) during the perinatal ( 1% and 0.1% Pb) periods of sexual brain differentiation were studied in adult male offspring. Maternal Pb levels were measured after treatment. Behavioral (open field and sexual behavior), physical (sexual maturation, body and organ weights), and biochemical (testosterone levels and hypothalamic monoamine and respective metabolite levels) data were assessed in perinatally exposed offspring. The effects of gonadrotopin-releasing hormone (GnRH) administration to pups at birth on puberty and sexual behavior were also investigated in offspring postnatally exposed to the metal. Results showed that perinatal administration of the two Pb concentrations did not modify maternal weight gain; 1% Pb exposure reduced offspring body weight during the 7 days of treatment while no changes were observed after 0.1% Pb exposure; neither ph concentration altered offspring sexual maturation; the higher Pb concentration improved sexual behavior while the 0.1% concentration reduced it; exposure to 0.1% Pb caused decrease in testis weight, an increase in seminal vesicle weight and no changes in plasma testosterone levels; hypothalamic VMA levels were increased compared to the control group; GnRH administration reversed the effects of 0.1% Ph administration on male sexual behavior. These results show that perinatal exposure to ph had a dose-dependent effect on the sexual behavior of rats and that a decrease in GnRH source in the offspring was probably involved in the reduction of their sexual performance. (C) 2001 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.