Reproductive endocrine effects of chronic lead exposure in the male cynomolgus monkey
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The reproductive endocrine effects of chronic lead exposure were investigated in 9 year old male (n = 16) cynomolgus monkeys, orally dosed with lead acetate (1500 micrograms/kg/day) according to the following dosing regimens: continuous exposure from birth onward (lifetime, n = 4), beginning at postnatal day 300 (post-infancy, n = 5) and postnatal days 0 to 400 (infancy, n = 4), or vehicle only (control, n = 3). Altered Sertoli cell function was shown by a significant (P = 0.0286) decrease in the inhibin/follicle stimulating hormone (INH/FSH) ratio in both the lifetime and post-infancy groups compared to the control group. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulated levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) were significantly (P = 0.0370) lower in the lifetime group compared to the control group as determined by comparisons of the area under the curve. These data suggest that chronic lead exposure exerts a subtle effect on the pituitary as well as on Sertoli cell function.
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