, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 213–219 | Cite as

Peripubertal paternal EtOH exposure

Testicular oxidative injury, fecundity, and offspring
  • Nicholas V. Emanuele
  • Nancy LaPaglia
  • Jennifer Steiner
  • Allessandra Colantoni
  • David H. Van Thiel
  • Mary Ann Emanuele


Fetal alcohol syndrome usually implies effects on the offspring of maternal EtOH consumption during gestation, with fewer reports addressing the impact of paternal exposure on the progeny. One previous report has dealt with the impact of EtOH exposure on peripubertal male rats as a model of teenage drinking and the deleterious effects on the offspring. We report here findings examining the effect of 2 mo of EtOH feeding on male animals as they progressed through puberty on their ability to impregnate EtOH-naive female rats and characteristics of the subsequent litters. The EtOH-imbibing fathers weighted significantly less than pairfed controls and animals ingesting a non-EtOH liquid diet ad libitum. Nevertheless, they were able to mate successfully, although fecundity was significantly reduced. The number of successful pregnancies, defined as carried to term, was diminished from 92% in controls to 75% in EtOH-fed animals (p<0.05). There was increased paternal testicular oxidative injury demonstrated by enhanced lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and decreased ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione. The litter size of the EtOH-exposed males was reduced by 46%. The average litter size was 12.4±1.5 pups/litter in ad libitum animals, virtually identical to the 12.5±0.6 pups/litter in the pair fed controls. This is in sharp contrast to the 6.7±0.1 pups/litter from the paternal EtOH matings (p<0.001). There was an increase in the average individual weight of pup offspring of paternally EtOH-exposed animals (p<0.01 vs pair-fed controls and p<0.05 vs ad libitum). Curiously, the male-to-female pup ratio was altered with a higher preponderance of male offspring from EtOH-fed fathers. There were no gross malformations noted among the pups. Insulin-like growth factor-1 levels in the pups at 10 d of age were unaltered between the groups. However, leptin was significantly elevated in the EtOH offspring. It appears that chronic EtOH exposure in the peripubertal fathers subsequently decreases fecundity and that this may be mediated by testicular oxidative injury, perhaps leading to accelerated germ cell apoptosis.

Key Words

Adolescent paternal EtOH fecundity testicular oxidative injury 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas V. Emanuele
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Nancy LaPaglia
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jennifer Steiner
    • 1
    • 5
  • Allessandra Colantoni
    • 1
  • David H. Van Thiel
    • 1
  • Mary Ann Emanuele
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of MedicineLoyola University Medical CenterMaywood
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and AnatomyLoyola University Medical CenterMaywood
  3. 3.the Molecular Biology ProgramLoyola University Medical CenterMaywood
  4. 4.the Division of Research on Drugs of AbuseLoyola University Medical CenterMaywood
  5. 5.Division of ResearchHines V.A. HospitalHines
  6. 6.Division of Medical ServicesHines V.A. HospitalHines

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