Quaternary ammonium disinfectants cause subfertility in mice by targeting both male and female reproductive processes

Vanessa E. Melin, Travis E. Melin, Brian J. Dessify, Christina T. Nguyen, Caroline S. Shea, Terry C. Hrubec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) are common ingredients in household bathroom and kitchen cleaning sprays. ADBAC + DDAC cause reproductive toxicity in mice. The aim of the present study was to investigate gender-specific reproductive effects from ADBAC + DDAC. Female reproduction was assessed through ovulation, oocyte implantation, and estrus cycling. Male reproductive function was assessed by sperm concentration, motility, and viability. Numbers of corpora lutea were not different after 2 weeks, but decreased after 8 weeks of ADBAC + DDAC exposure. Dams exposed for 5 weeks to ADBAC + DDAC spent significantly less time in estrus. ADBAC + DDAC exposed males exhibited declines in both sperm concentration and motility, but not sperm viability. Subfertility in mice from ADBAC + DDAC exposure is, therefore, mediated through reproductive disturbances in both females and males. While the effect of ADBAC + DDAC exposure on human health is unclear, widespread exposure necessitates further consideration of their potential reproductive toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Volume59
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disinfectants
  • Fertility
  • Implantation
  • Ovulation
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds
  • Reproduction
  • Sperm counts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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