Risk Assessment of Cosmetics Using Triclosan on Future Generation's Germ Cell Maturation via Lactating Mother Rats

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 11;17(4):1143. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17041143.


Triclosan (TCS) is a widely used chemical in personal care and household products as an antimicrobial agent but some studies have reported it as being estrogenic. We investigated the influence of TCS on the male reproductive system of postnatal pups. Lactating mother rats (Rattus norvegicus) were given daily doses of 0 mg, 3 mg, and 5 mg/kg/day from the day of delivery until 28 days, equivalent to their natural breastfeeding duration. At 28 days, the male pups of all three groups were sacrificed and their biochemical parameters evaluated. TCS-treated pups had decreased mRNA levels for 3β hydro-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (3βHSD), OCT3/4, and androgen receptor (AR) (p < 0.05). The higher dose (5 mg/kg/day) male pups exhibited more significantly affected germ cell maturation and decreased body weight. In summary, TCS-treated lactating mothers passed the deleterious effects to their untreated male pups as exhibited by reduced androgens synthesis and subsequently decreased sperm count.

Keywords: androgens; lactation; male reproduction; personal care product; toxicology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cosmetics* / toxicity
  • Endocrine Disruptors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Rats
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sperm Count*
  • Triclosan* / toxicity


  • Cosmetics
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Triclosan