Histopathologic changes in the testes of rats exposed to dibromoacetic acid

Reprod Toxicol. Jan-Feb 1997;11(1):47-56. doi: 10.1016/s0890-6238(96)00196-7.


The present report details histopathologic changes in the testis and epididymis of rats gavaged daily for 2 to 79 d with a by-product of water disinfection, dibromoacetic acid (DBAA). On treatment day 2 abnormal retention of Step 19 spermatids was observed in animals given the highest dosage of 250 mg/kg. Additional changes on day 5 included the fusion of mature spermatids and the presence of atypical residual bodies (ARB) in the epithelium and lumen of Stage X-XII seminiferous tubules. By day 9, ARB were seen in most stages of the seminiferous epithelial cycle and in the caput epididymidis. On day 16 distorted sperm heads were recognized in Step 12, and older spermatids, and luminal cytoplasmic debris was found throughout the epididymis. On day 31, there was vacuolation of the Sertoli cell cytoplasm, extensive retention of Step 19 spermatids near the lumen of Stage IX and X tubules, and vesiculation of the acrosomes of late spermatids. Marked atrophy of the seminiferous tubules was present 6 months after 42 doses of 250 mg/kg. ARB and retention of Step 19 spermatids were observed after 31 and 79 doses of 50 mg/kg and increased retention of Step 19 spermatids was seen in several rats dosed with 10 mg/kg. No abnormalities were detected at the dosage of 2 mg/kg. The changes suggest that the testicular effects of DBAA are sequelae to structural and/or functional changes in the Sertoli cell.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / pathology*


  • Acetates
  • dibromoacetic acid