This study was done to evaluate the effects of TSE on sexual behavior, reproductive parameters, and testicles in adult male rats and to reveal the possible role of ALA administration.

7 Pregnant rats were treated with tobacco smoke, ALA, and TS + ALA for a total of 4.8 months. Puberty parameters, sexual behavior; levels of serum gonadotropins and testosterone, total antioxidant status, and total oxidant status; the expression of the apoptotic protease-activating factor-1 and caspase 9 mRNA levels in the testis; and assessment of immunohistochemistry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay of testis were the parameters compared with 8 control rats.

Maternal TSE caused a significant decrease in intromissions. ALA decreased erectile function in sexual behavior. TSE and ALA treatment caused an impairment of some consummatory sexual behaviors. Also, age of pubertal onset was significantly delayed in the TS + ALA group. Histopathological changes occured in testicular tissue, oxidative stress markers, apoptotic index, and mRNA levels of apoptosis-related genes increased in all treatment groups.

This study concluded that maternal TSE and/or ALA treatment may impair sexual behavior in adulthood in male rats.