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Atrazine has several detrimental effects on reproduction in laboratory rodents. At high doses, atrazine can inhibit the pituitary hormones necessary for ovulation, the release of eggs from the ovary [1]. Atrazine also causes pregnancy loss in some strains of laboratory rodents [2, 3]. This effect was likely due to loss in certain neurons in the brain that secrete hormones necessary for maintaining pregnancy [2-5]. In addition, Prolactin, a hormone that induces parental care in females and that is critical for suckling behavior is reduced by atrazine exposure [4-6].

What’s more, the female offspring born of mothers who are exposed to atrazine suffer from retarded mammary gland development [7, 8]. Female rat pups exposed prenatally (while in the womb) have significantly delayed and underdeveloped mammary glands (breast).

Even though they were only exposed in the womb, not after birth or as adults, these prenatally exposed animals do not recover as adults [8]. When these rats reproduce they are unable to suckle (feed) their young properly. As a result, the second generation (grandchildren of the originally exposed mothers) show low grow rates as a result of decreased nutrition.

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Atrazine causes pregnancy loss, delayed development, and low birth weight in laboratory rodents
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