Exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) during pregnancy and early development can lead to adverse developmental outcomes in offspring. One of the endpoints of concern is feminization. The present study aimed to investigate for any possible correlations with endocrine sensitive parameters in the testes of male rat offspring following dam exposure to three EDCs by assessing the expression of endocrine-related genes. Dienestrol (DIES) [0.37- 6.25 μg/kg bw/day], linuron (LIN) [1.5-50 mg/kg bw/day], flutamide (FLU) [3.5-50 mg/kg bw/day] as well as their binary mixtures were administered to sexually mature female rats from gestation day (GD) 6 until postnatal day (PND) 21. Gene expression analysis of Star, Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Hsd3b2, Pgr and Insl3 was performed by RT-qPCR. Administration of the anti-androgen FLU alone significantly upregulated Cyp11a1 and Cyp17a1 gene expression while administration of LIN and DIES alone did not alter significantly gene expression. The effects of the binary mixtures on gene expression were not as marked as those seen after single compound administrations. Deregulation of Cyp17a1 in rat pup testis, following administration of FLU alone or in mixtures to dams, was significantly correlated with the observed feminization endpoints in male pups.
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