Journal of
Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences

  • Abbreviation: J. Toxicol. Environ. Health Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9820
  • DOI: 10.5897/JTEHS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 206

Full Length Research Paper

Frequently-used agrochemicals lead to functional and morphological spermatozoa alterations in rats

Hurtado de Catalfo Graciela, Astiz Mariana, Alaniz María J. T. de and Marra Carlos Alberto*
INIBIOLP (Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas de La Plata), CCT La Plata, CONICET-UNLP, Cátedra de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 60 y 120 (1900) La Plata, Argentina.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 February 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2011


It is known that agrochemicals alter male reproductive functions. Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated the relationship between male fertility dysfunction and oxidative-nitrative stress. In this work, morphological and functional spermatozoa parameters were studied in a rat model sub-chronically (5 weeks) intoxicated with low doses (i.p. 1/250 LD50) of a mixture of dimethoate (D), glyphosate (G) and zineb (Z). The cytological assays showed alterations in spermatozoa morphology and in plasma membrane integrity. Modifications in the fatty acid composition were also shown. RIA analyses demonstrated androgenic hormone imbalance in plasma and testes. The acrosome reaction was also altered. Free thiols (positively correlated with DNA denaturation) and fructose levels were elevated in seminal vesicles from treated rats. Taking into account the low doses of pesticides that provoke these alterations, it was assumed that the environmental pollution may play a key role as a causative factor for fertility abnormalities. 
Key words: Dimethoate, zineb, glyphosate, rat, spermatozoa, fertility/sperm abnormalities.