Butylparaben exposure targets the liver in rats
Researchers from the Division of the National Toxicology Program studied the effects of butylparaben (BP) exposure on reproductive fitness and development in rats. BP is a member of the paraben family, a group of chemicals that has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Parabens are used liberally in consumer products including food and cosmetics. Human exposure to parabens is widespread, but studies report conflicting evidence of the effects of exposure in rodents.
In this study, multiple generations of rats were orally exposed to varying concentrations of BP through different stages of life. This approach, known as a multigeneration continuous breeding study, allowed for more statistical power compared to other methods to analyze parameters of reproduction and development. These parameters included bodyweight, pregnancy rate, litter size, mortality, sperm quality, pubertal onset, and endocrine signaling.
The researchers found BP dose-related decreases in bodyweight across all three generations of rats. The liver was identified as the primary target organ of BP toxicity due in part to increased liver weights and nonneoplastic lesions. All other measurements regarding fertility and potential endocrine disruption were not related to BP exposure. (VP)
Citation: Hubbard TD, Brix A, Blystone CR, McIntyre BS, Shockley K, Cunny H, Waidyanatha S, Turner KJ, McBride S, Roberts GK. 2020. Butylparaben multigenerational reproductive assessment by continuous breeding in Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats following dietary exposure. Reprod Toxicol 96:258–272.