Menstrual cycle characteristics and reproductive hormone levels in women exposed to atrazine in drinking water
ABSTRACT Atrazine is the most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. and a wide-spread groundwater contaminant. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence exists that atrazine disrupts reproductive health and hormone secretion. We examined the relationship between exposure to atrazine in drinking water and menstrual cycle function including reproductive hormone levels. Women 18-40 years old residing in agricultural communities where atrazine is used extensively (Illinois) and sparingly (Vermont) answered a questionnaire (n=102), maintained menstrual cycle diaries (n=67), and provided daily urine samples for analyses of luteinizing hormone (LH), and estradiol and progesterone metabolites (n=35). Markers of exposures included state of residence, atrazine and chlorotriazine concentrations in tap water, municipal water and urine, and estimated dose from water consumption. Women who lived in Illinois were more likely to report menstrual cycle length irregularity (odds ratio (OR)=4.69; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.58-13.95) and more than 6 weeks between periods (OR=6.16; 95% CI: 1.29-29.38) than those who lived in Vermont. Consumption of >2 cups of unfiltered Illinois water daily was associated with increased risk of irregular periods (OR=5.73; 95% CI: 1.58-20.77). Estimated "dose" of atrazine and chlorotriazine from tap water was inversely related to mean mid-luteal estradiol metabolite. Atrazine "dose" from municipal concentrations was directly related to follicular phase length and inversely related to mean mid-luteal progesterone metabolite levels. We present preliminary evidence that atrazine exposure, at levels below the US EPA MCL, is associated with increased menstrual cycle irregularity, longer follicular phases, and decreased levels of menstrual cycle endocrine biomarkers of infertile ovulatory cycles.
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ABSTRACT: Overexposure to the commonly used herbicide atrazine (ATR) affects several organ systems, including the brain. Previously, we demonstrated that short-term oral ATR exposure causes behavioral deficits and dopaminergic and serotonergic dysfunction in the brains of mice. Using adult male C57BL/6 mice, the present study aimed to investigate effects of a 10-day oral ATR exposure (0, 5, 25, 125, or 250 mg/kg) on the mouse plasma metabolome and to determine metabolic pathways affected by ATR that may be reflective of ATR’s effects on the brain and useful to identify peripheral biomarkers of neurotoxicity. Four hours after the last dosing on day 10, plasma was collected and analyzed with high-performance, dual chromatography-Fourier-transform mass spectrometry that was followed by biostatistical and bioinformatic analyses. ATR exposure (≥5 mg/kg) significantly altered plasma metabolite profile and resulted in a dose-dependent increase in the number of metabolites with ion intensities significantly different from the control group. Pathway analyses revealed that ATR exposure strongly correlated with and disrupted multiple metabolic pathways. Tyrosine, tryptophan, linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid metabolic pathways were among the affected pathways, with α-linolenic acid metabolism being affected to the greatest extent. Observed effects of ATR on plasma tyrosine and tryptophan metabolism may be reflective of the previously reported perturbations of brain dopamine and serotonin homeostasis, respectively. ATR-caused alterations in the plasma profile of α-linolenic acid metabolism are a potential novel and sensitive plasma biomarker of ATR effect and plasma metabolomics could be used to better assess the risks, including to the brain, associated with ATR overexposure.Toxicology 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.tox.2014.11.001 · 3.75 Impact Factor
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 02/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jece.2014.02.004
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ABSTRACT: Atrazine is a commonly utilized herbicide to control broadleaf weeds in the agricultural setting. It can, however, have negative effects on male reproductive performance in a variety of vertebrate species. Much less is known, however, about the effects of atrazine on invertebrates. In this study, we investigated the effects of several different concentrations of larval atrazine exposure on measures of reproductive performance in adult male Drosophila melanogaster. Atrazine exposure had significant effects on a male’s mating ability and the number of eggs his partner laid when he was successful at mating. Exposed males also sired a smaller proportion of the offspring under competitive conditions when they were the first male to mate to a doubly mated female. Atrazine exposure had no measurable effect on a male’s ability to prevent a mated female from mating to another male or on the proportion of offspring sired when the exposed males were the second male to mate. Exposure upregulated expression of one male reproductive gene, ovulin, but had no effect on expression of another, sex peptide. Exposed males produced and transferred more sex peptide protein to the female during mating but ovulin protein levels were not affected. In general, we observed non-monotonic responses such that the intermediate exposure levels showed the largest reduction in male reproductive performance. This study suggests that atrazine exposure affects male reproductive performance in insects and future studies should aim to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the fitness effects of exposure.Journal of Insect Physiology 01/2015; 72:14-21. DOI:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2014.11.002 · 2.50 Impact Factor