2012 Volume 53 Issue 3 Pages 377-384
This two-generation study evaluated the effects of depleted uranium (DU) on reproduction in rats. Across two generations, Wistar rats (30/sex/group) were maintained on feed containing DU at dose levels of 0 (control group), 4 (DU4 group), or 40 (DU40 group) mg kg–1 day–1 for 4 months prior to mating. After 4 months of exposure, the pregnancy rate, normal labour rate, and survival rate of offspring produced by F1 rats were all significantly decreased as compared to the control group, and especially in the DU40 group, these parameters fell by half to two-thirds, while no adverse effects were evident in F0 rats. The uranium content in the testes and ovaries of F1 rats in the DU4 and DU40 groups was significantly higher than that found in F0 rats. The levels of sex hormone in the serum were disorder in both generations. The enzymes related to spermiogenesis were also significantly different between generations, and the damage was more severe in F1 rats. In conclusion, the reproductive effects in F0 rats were slight after chronic oral exposure to DU, while the effects were obvious in F1 rats.
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