Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0,035 mg/m3) exert injurious effect on the testes. Changes were found in the RNA and DNA content, inhibition of deoxyribonuclease activity and reduced soluble protein content in testicular homogenate. Along with this, there was decrease in spermatozoid motility, indicating eventual weakening of the fecundating capacity of male rats. The parameters used, characterizing nuclein and protein metabolism in the testes, may serve as objective and very sensitive index in testing the gonadotoxic effect of low concentrations of chemical agents. The results of this study should be taken into consideration in making hygiene-toxicologic characteristics of formaldehyde, with special reverence to the threshold of its gonadotoxic effect.
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