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    Previous studies have demonstrated that Zearalenone (ZEA) affects not only maternal reproductive function but also that of the offspring. However, the transgenerational toxic effects of ZEA on the spermatogonia of male F1 mice are not clear. The present study was thus designed to determine whether the fertility of male F1 mice was affected following exposure of F0 pregnant mice to ZEA. In present study, 32 pregnant female mice were divided into 4 groups and exposed to ZEA of 0, 2.5 and 5.0 mg/kg, respectively, and the testis development and reproductive performance of 96 male F1 mice were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the F0 pregnant mice treated with ZEA resulted in increased anogenital distances in the newborn male F1 mice. Moreover, ZEA caused abnormal vacuole structures and loose connections in the testes of male F1 offspring, compared with the controls. Further ultramicrostructural analysis showed that the mitochondria appeared to be vacuolated with ablated membranes and cristae, and this was accompanied by the presence of large lipid droplets in the spermatogonia. Further, the semen quality and sperm counts declined significantly, and increased malformation rates and decreased testosterone levels were observed in the male F1 offspring from experimental groups. Our results reveal the toxic effects of ZEA on F0 pregnant mice is transgenerational, and affects the fertility of male F1 mice by damaging the spermatogonial cells. This offers a new viewpoint of ZEA-induced reproductive toxicity in male animals and provides a new potential direction for the treatment and prevention of ZEA-induced cytotoxicity. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.


    Yewen Zhou, Di Zhang, Dehao Sun, Sheng Cui. Zearalenone affects reproductive functions of male offspring via transgenerational cytotoxicity on spermatogonia in mouse. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP. 2020 Aug;234:108766

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    PMID: 32339757

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