OBJECTIVE: In order to clarify the effect of the prenatal (PN) treatment of the drug 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD) which blocks the conversion of testosterone into estradiol on male sexual behavior of the rats offsprings, from the effect of the mild stress induced by the PN administration of the Propylene glycol (PG), the vehicle used to dissolve ATD.
METHODS: Pregnant Wistar rats were divided into three groups. The CON group did not receive any kind of treatment. The other two groups (PG and ATD) were injected i.p. during gestation (days 11-22) with 0 and 5 mg of ATD, dissolved in 0.1 ml of PG, respectively, doses reported by other authors. Sexual performance of the male pups was analyzed three months later in four successive tests.
RESULTS: In the first sexual test of these naive rats, the percentage of males mounting, intromitting, ejaculating and the ejaculation frequency of the ATD group decreased significantly in comparison with the CON group. Also in the first and 4th tests, mounting, intromission and ejaculation latencies, as in the post-ejaculatory refractory period, ATD group, was significantly longer in comparison with the CON group. PG males showed a male sexual behavior (MSB) similar to that observed in the ATD group, but the differences did not reach statistical significance when they were compared with the CON group.
CONCLUSION: We considered that the PN stress induced by the daily administration of PG and ATD, results in a slower execution of the MSB in both groups and avoid distinguish the effect of the ATD. Then chronic PN injections, as a route of administration, could act as mild stressor and may have additive effects on drugs affecting brain sexual differentiation.