Several contaminants in the environment have the capacity to interfere with endocrine homeostasis of humans and animals and the exposure to these compounds may induce abnormal development of sex organs. Parabens (alkyl esters of Á-hydroxybenzoic acid) are preservatives widely used in pharmaceutical products, food and beverage industries and cosmetics formulations. Besides antifungal and antibacterial actions, these chemicals have been detected in several human tissues and corporal fluids as urine, blood, milk and mammary tissue. Due contradictory and scarce effects in relation to parabens administration on reproductive system and knowing that exposure to substances present in the environment may contribute to several reproductive dysfunctions, especially if it occurs in critical periods of development (intra-uterine and post-natal periods), a more detailed and comprehensive investigation on the possible effects of paraben administration on reproductive function is necessary. The present project aims to evaluate the toxic effects on genital system of male and female offspring, whose mothers were exposed to butyl 4-hydroxybenzoate (butyl paraben) during gestation and lactation.
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