Toxic effects of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on human sperm function in vitro.
J Toxicol Sci. 2016 ;41(4):543-9. PMID: 27432240
The herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is globally used in agriculture and has been linked to human sperm abnormalities in vivo. However, its effects on ejaculated human spermatozoa in vitro have not been characterized. Therefore, we examined the effects of 2,4-D on the functions of ejaculated human spermatozoa in vitro, including: sperm motility, the ability to move through a viscous medium, capacitation, and the acrosome reaction. Different doses of 2,4-D (10 nM, 100 nM, 1µM, 10 µM, 100 µM, and 200 µM) were applied to human spermatozoa prepared from normal fresh semen samples. The results indicated that 2,4-D did not affect the viability, capacitation, or spontaneous acrosome reactions of human spermatozoa, but it dose-dependently inhibited the total motility, progressive motility, ability to penetrate viscous medium, and progesterone-induced capacitation and acrosome reaction rates. These results suggest that exposure to 2,4-D and its accumulation in the seminal plasma and follicular fluid might increase the risk of infertility. Our findings provide new insights for understanding the male reproductive toxicity of 2,4-D.