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Subchronic toxicity of propyl paraben in adult male rats

AM Salem
MM Said
MM Badawi
MM Rabo


In the current study, daily per os administration of propyl paraben
(n-propyl-p-hydroxybenzoate) to adult male rats for four consecutive
weeks induced severe hepatotoxicity as revealed by the significant
elevation in serum marker enzymes along with a significant decrease
in serum protein and its fractions. Furthermore, propyl paraben administration disturbed steroid hormones balance by suppressing
serum testosterone level, with a concomitant increase in serum
estradiol and an ultimate decrease in testosterone/estradiol ratio.
Hepatic and testicular toxicity was furtherly attributed to oxidative
stress induction, since propyl paraben altered the oxidant/antioxidant
balance in both tissues. Signs of toxicity and histopathological
changes in the liver and testes were observed by light microscopy of
haematoxylin and eosin-stained sections. In conclusion, our data
demonstrate the potency of propyl paraben as an endocrine disruptor
to induce disturbances in normal steroid balance in adult male rats. In
addition, the induced oxidative stress represents a common
mechanism of propyl paraben toxicity in hepatic and testicular tissues.

Keywords: Propyl paraben; Testis; Liver; Oxidative stress; Testosterone

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eISSN: 1687-1502