Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Epigenetic Effects of Cypermethrin on Testes and Sperm of Perinatally Exposed F1 Male Rats

Vaidehi Patwardhan

B. Pharmacy, Dr. L.H. Hiranandani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai University, Ulhasnagar 421003

Dr. N.H.Balasinor

Scientist-F, H.O.D. Neuroendocrinology, ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Parel, Mumbai 400012

Dr. Dipty Singh

Scientist-C, Neuroendocrinology, ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Parel, Mumbai 400012


Till date, several in-vitro, animal and epidemiological studies have been carried out to decipher the association between endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and male reproductive health. One such EDC is cypermethrin (CYP), a widely used and ubiquitously present synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. Recent studies have provided new insights on the possible adverse effects of CYP on male reproductive health. CYP exposure during critical window of development might have transgenerational effects. In view of this, a study was carried out earlier to decipher the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of CYP on F1 male progeny following perinatal exposure. Pregnant rats (F0) were gavaged daily with CYP (0, 1, 10, 25 mg/kg BW/day) and Diethylestilbestrol (10μg/kg BW/day) as positive control from gestation day 6 to postnatal day 21 and the F1 males were studied at adulthood (PND 75). The study reported delayed sexual maturation, reproductive hormone alterations, reduced sperm motility and subfertility in F1 male rats as well as developmental defects in the F2 fetuses. Further, the present study was performed to understand the effect of CYP exposure on sperm DNA methylation and its enzymatic machinery in testes of F1 progeny. The relative gene expression studies of testes DNA methyltransferases suggested that there was upregulation in the expression levels of Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b and Dnmt3L. However  ,the Bisulfite-Pyrosequencing showed non-significant changes in the global (LINE1) methylation patterns in spermatozoa of F1 male. The present study indicated that the perinatal exposure of CYP might have an effect on the methylation machinery in testes; this needs to be further studied.  

Keywords: Cypermethrin, Perinatal exposure, Testes, Sperm, Epigenetics, DNA methylation

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