Effects of atrazine on female Wistar rats: Morphological alterations in ovarian follicles and immunocytochemical labeling of 90 kDa heat shock protein
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Fertility in female mammals may be affected by a variety of endocrine disrupters present in the environment. Herbicide atrazine is an example of endocrine disrupter employed in agriculture, which disrupts estrous cyclicity in rats. Aiming to characterize morphologically the effect of low and sublethal doses of atrazine on the ovaries of Wistar rats, in an effort to determine the possible intrafollicular target site through which this herbicide acts adult females were submitted to both subacute and subchronic treatments. Additionally, immunocytochemical labeling of 90 kDa heat shock protein (HSP90) was performed in order to evaluate the role played by this protein in the ovary, under stressed conditions induced by herbicide exposure. The results indicated that atrazine induced impaired folliculogenesis, increased follicular atresia and HSP90 depletion in female rats submitted to subacute treatment, while the subchronic treatment with low dose of atrazine could compromise the reproductive capacity reflected by the presence of multioocytic follicle and stress-inducible HSP90. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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