ABSTRACT: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA or "ecstasy" is consumed mainly by young population at childbearing age. Therefore, there may be a risk of exposure of some pregnant women. The effects of the developmental exposure to MDMA on the sexual development and long-term sexual behaviour/fertility were assessed in Sprague-Dawley rats. MDMA was administered subcutaneously at 0 (control), 0.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg to female rats once a day, three consecutive days a week during 10 weeks, including gestation and lactation. The male offspring was evaluated for sexual maturation and mated with untreated sexually receptive females to evaluate the mating and pregnancy rates. Hormonal, haematological, biochemical, histological, genotoxicological and testicular and sperm parameters were also evaluated. A significant higher incidence of DNA damage in sperm and interstitial oedema in testes was found. There was also a significant and dose-related decrease in sperm count and a significant decrease in sperm motility at all doses. A significant delay in preputial separation onset in all treated groups was observed. This study reports by the first time an alteration of spermatogenesis after in utero and lactation MDMA exposure in the rat.
Toxicology Letters 08/2010; 197(2):135-42. · 3.23 Impact Factor