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Environmental chemicals impact dog semen quality in vitro and may be associated with a temporal decline in sperm motility and increased cryptorchidism

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Abstract

Adverse temporal trends in human semen quality and cryptorchidism in infants have been associated with exposure to environmental chemicals (ECs) during development. Here we report that a population of breeding dogs exhibit a 26 year (1988-2014) decline in sperm quality and a concurrent increased incidence of cryptorchidism in male offspring (1995-2014). A decline in the number of males born relative to the number of females was also observed. ECs, including diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and polychlorinated bisphenol 153 (PCB153), were detected in adult dog testes and commercial dog foods at concentrations reported to perturb reproductive function in other species. Testicular concentrations of DEHP and PCB153 perturbed sperm viability, motility and DNA integrity in vitro but did not affect LH stimulated testosterone secretion from adult testis explants. The direct effects of chemicals on sperm may therefore contribute to the decline in canine semen quality that parallels that reported in the human.

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Lea, R. G., Byers, A. S., Sumner, R. N., Rhind, S. M., Zhang, Z., Freeman, S. L., … England, G. C. W. (2016). Environmental chemicals impact dog semen quality in vitro and may be associated with a temporal decline in sperm motility and increased cryptorchidism. Scientific Reports, 6. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep31281

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