Bibliography Tag: male reproductive impacts

Abou et al., 2020

Abou Ghayda R, Sergeyev O, Burns JS, Williams PL, Lee MM, Korrick SA, Smigulina L, Dikov Y, Hauser R, Mínguez-Alarcón L; “Russian Children’s Study. Peripubertal serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and semen parameters in Russian young men.” Environment International. 2020 Nov;144:106085. DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2020.106085.


Background: Epidemiologic literature on the relation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) with semen quality among adult men has been inconclusive, and no studies have prospectively explored the association between peripubertal serum OCPs and semen parameters in young men.

Objective: To evaluate prospective associations of peripubertal serum concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocylohexane (β-HCH), and p,p’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE) with semen parameters among young Russian men.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included 152 young men who enrolled in the Russian Children’s Study (2003-2005) at age 8-9 years and were followed annually until young adulthood. HCB, β-HCH, and p,p’-DDE concentrations were measured at the CDC by mass spectrometry in serum collected at enrollment. Between 18 and 23 years, semen samples (n = 298) were provided for analysis of volume, concentration, and progressive motility; we also calculated total sperm count and total progressive motile count. Linear mixed models were used to examine the longitudinal associations of quartiles of serum HCB, β-HCH and p,p’-DDE with semen parameters, adjusting for total serum lipids, body mass index, smoking, abstinence time and baseline dietary macronutrient intake.

Results: Lipid-adjusted medians (IQR) for serum HCB, βHCH and p,ṕ-DDE, respectively, were 150 ng/g lipid (102-243), 172 ng/g lipid (120-257) and 275 ng/g lipid (190-465). In adjusted models, we observed lower ejaculated volume with higher serum concentrations of HCB and βHCH, along with reduced progressive motility with higher concentrations of βHCH andp,ṕ-DDE. Men in the highest quartile of serum HCB had a mean (95% Confidence Interval, CI) ejaculated volume of 2.25 mL (1.89, 2.60), as compared to those in the lowest quartile with a mean (95% CI) of 2.97 mL (2.46, 3.49) (p = 0.03). Also, men in the highest quartile of serum p,ṕ-DDE had a mean (95% CI) progressive motility of 51.1% (48.6, 53.7), as compared to those in the lowest quartile with a mean (95% CI) of 55.1% (51.7, 58.5) (p = 0.07).

Conclusion: In this longitudinal Russian cohort study, peripubertal serum concentrations of selected OCPs were associated with lower ejaculated volume and progressive motility highlighting the importance of the peripubertal window when evaluating chemical exposures in relation to semen quality. FULL TEXT

Mnif et al., 2011

Mnif W, Hassine AI, Bouaziz A, Bartegi A, Thomas O, Roig B. “Effect of endocrine disruptor pesticides: a review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011 Jun;8(6):2265-303. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8062265.

ABSTRACT: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans. A huge number of chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, among them several pesticides. Pesticides are used to kill unwanted organisms in crops, public areas, homes and gardens, and parasites in medicine. Human are exposed to pesticides due to their occupations or through dietary and environmental exposure (water, soil, air). For several years, there have been enquiries about the impact of environmental factors on the occurrence of human pathologies. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the potential impacts of endocrine disruptor pesticides on human health. FULL TEXT

Maurice et al., 2021

Maurice C, Dalvai M, Lambrot R, Deschênes A, Scott-Boyer M-P, McGraw S, Chan D, Côté N, Ziv-Gal A, Flaws JA, Droit A, Trasler J, Kimmins S, Bailey JL. “Early-Life Exposure to Environmental Contaminants Perturbs the Sperm Epigenome and Induces Negative Pregnancy Outcomes for Three Generations via the Paternal Lineage.” Epigenomes. 2021, 5(2):10; DOI:10.3390/epigenomes5020010


Due to the grasshopper effect, the Arctic food chain in Canada is contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) of industrial origin, including polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides. Exposure to POPs may be a contributor to the greater incidence of poor fetal growth, placental abnormalities, stillbirths, congenital defects and shortened lifespan in the Inuit population compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians. Although maternal exposure to POPs is well established to harm pregnancy outcomes, paternal transmission of the effects of POPs is a possibility that has not been well investigated. We used a rat model to test the hypothesis that exposure to POPs during gestation and suckling leads to developmental defects that are transmitted to subsequent generations via the male lineage. Indeed, developmental exposure to an environmentally relevant Arctic POPs mixture impaired sperm quality and pregnancy outcomes across two subsequent, unexposed generations and altered sperm DNA methylation, some of which are also observed for two additional generations. Genes corresponding to the altered sperm methylome correspond to health problems encountered in the Inuit population. These findings demonstrate that the paternal methylome is sensitive to the environment and that some perturbations persist for at least two subsequent generations. In conclusion, although many factors influence health, paternal exposure to contaminants plays a heretofore-underappreciated role with sperm DNA methylation contributing to the molecular underpinnings involved. FULL TEXT

Levine et al., 2017

Levine, H., Jorgensen, N., Martino-Andrade, A., Mendiola, J., Weksler-Derri, D., Mindlis, I., Pinotti, R., & Swan, S. H.; “Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis;” Human Reproduction Update, 2017, 23(6), 646-659; DOI: 10.1093/humupd/dmx022.


BACKGROUND: Reported declines in sperm counts remain controversial today and recent trends are unknown. A definitive meta-analysis is critical given the predictive value of sperm count for fertility, morbidity and mortality.

OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE: To provide a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of recent trends in sperm counts as measured by sperm concentration (SC) and total sperm count (TSC), and their modification by fertility and geographic group.

SEARCH METHODS: PubMed/MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for English language studies of human SC published in 1981-2013. Following a predefined protocol 7518 abstracts were screened and 2510 full articles reporting primary data on SC were reviewed. A total of 244 estimates of SC and TSC from 185 studies of 42 935 men who provided semen samples in 1973-2011 were extracted for meta-regression analysis, as well as information on years of sample collection and covariates [fertility group (‘Unselected by fertility’ versus ‘Fertile’), geographic group (‘Western’, including North America, Europe Australia and New Zealand versus ‘Other’, including South America, Asia and Africa), age, ejaculation abstinence time, semen collection method, method of measuring SC and semen volume, exclusion criteria and indicators of completeness of covariate data]. The slopes of SC and TSC were estimated as functions of sample collection year using both simple linear regression and weighted meta-regression models and the latter were adjusted for pre-determined covariates and modification by fertility and geographic group. Assumptions were examined using multiple sensitivity analyses and nonlinear models.

OUTCOMES: SC declined significantly between 1973 and 2011 (slope in unadjusted simple regression models -0.70 million/ml/year; 95% CI: -0.72 to -0.69; P < 0.001; slope in adjusted meta-regression models = -0.64; -1.06 to -0.22; P = 0.003). The slopes in the meta-regression model were modified by fertility (P for interaction = 0.064) and geographic group (P for interaction = 0.027). There was a significant decline in SC between 1973 and 2011 among Unselected Western (-1.38; -2.02 to -0.74; P < 0.001) and among Fertile Western (-0.68; -1.31 to -0.05; P = 0.033), while no significant trends were seen among Unselected Other and Fertile Other. Among Unselected Western studies, the mean SC declined, on average, 1.4% per year with an overall decline of 52.4% between 1973 and 2011. Trends for TSC and SC were similar, with a steep decline among Unselected Western (-5.33 million/year, -7.56 to -3.11; P < 0.001), corresponding to an average decline in mean TSC of 1.6% per year and overall decline of 59.3%. Results changed minimally in multiple sensitivity analyses, and there was no statistical support for the use of a nonlinear model. In a model restricted to data post-1995, the slope both for SC and TSC among Unselected Western was similar to that for the entire period (-2.06 million/ml, -3.38 to -0.74; P = 0.004 and -8.12 million, -13.73 to -2.51, P = 0.006, respectively).

WIDER IMPLICATIONS: This comprehensive meta-regression analysis reports a significant decline in sperm counts (as measured by SC and TSC) between 1973 and 2011, driven by a 50-60% decline among men unselected by fertility from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Because of the significant public health implications of these results, research on the causes of this continuing decline is urgently needed.


Gorga et al., 2021

Gorga, A., Rindone, G. M., Centola, C. L., Sobarzo, C. M., Pellizzari, E. H., Camberos, M. D. C., Marin-Briggiler, C. I., Cohen, D. J., Riera, M. F., Galardo, M. N., & Meroni, S. B.; “Low Doses of Glyphosate/Roundup Alter Blood-Testis Barrier Integrity in Juvenile Rats;” Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2021, 12, 615678; DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2021.615678.


It has been postulated that glyphosate (G) or its commercial formulation Roundup (R) might lead to male fertility impairment. In this study, we investigated the possible effects of G or R treatment of juvenile male rats on blood-testis barrier function and on adult male sperm production. Pups were randomly assigned to the following groups: control group (C), receiving water; G2 and G50 groups, receiving 2 and 50 mg/kg/day G respectively; and R2 and R50 groups receiving 2 and 50 mg/kg/day R respectively. Treatments were performed orally from postnatal day (PND) 14 to 30, period of life that is essential to complete a functional blood-testis barrier. Evaluation was done on PND 31. No differences in body and testis weight were observed between groups. Testis histological analysis showed disorganized seminiferous epithelium, with apparent low cellular adhesion in treated animals. Blood-testis barrier permeability to a biotin tracer was examined. A significant increase in permeable tubules was observed in treated groups. To evaluate possible mechanisms that could explain the effects on blood-testis barrier permeability, intratesticular testosterone levels, androgen receptor expression, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and the expression of intercellular junction proteins (claudin11, occludin, ZO-1, connexin43, 46, and 50 which are components of the blood-testis barrier) were examined. No modifications in the above-mentioned parameters were detected. To evaluate whether juvenile exposure to G and R could have consequences during adulthood, a set of animals of the R50 group was allowed to grow up until PND 90. Histological analysis showed that control and R50 groups had normal cellular associations and complete spermatogenesis. Also, blood-testis barrier function was recovered and testicular weight, daily sperm production, and epididymal sperm motility and morphology did not seem to be modified by juvenile treatment. In conclusion, the results presented herein show that continuous exposure to low doses of G or R alters blood-testis barrier permeability in juvenile rats. However, considering that adult animals treated during the juvenile stage showed no differences in daily sperm production compared with control animals, it is feasible to think that blood-testis barrier impairment is a reversible phenomenon. More studies are needed to determine possible damage in the reproductive function of human juvenile populations exposed to low doses of G or R. FULL TEXT

Sanchez et al., 2018

Sanchez, M. C., Alvarez Sedo, C., Chaufan, G. R., Romanato, M., Da Cuna, R., Lo Nostro, F., Calvo, J. C., & Fontana, V.; “In vitro effects of endosulfan-based insecticides on mammalian sperm;” Toxicology Research, 2018, 7(1), 117-126; DOI: 10.1039/c7tx00251c.


Endosulfan is an organochloride insecticide extensively used in several countries to protect crops from pests. As several studies indicate that endosulfan can affect human and animal development, the aim of this study was to analyse whether sperm parameters and the process of chromatin decondensation could be altered by endosulfan in mice sperm. Spermatozoa from cauda epididymis were obtained from mature male mice and incubated in the presence of two commercial formulations (CFs) of endosulfan (Master(R) and Zebra Ciagro(R)) or the active ingredient (AI) alone. A significant decrease in the percentage motility and viability of spermatozoa with respect to controls was found. In vitro decondensation was performed in the presence of glutathione and heparin. Spermatozoa incubated with the AI, endosulfan Master(R) and endosulfan Zebra Ciagro(R) showed an increase in chromatin decondensation. In addition, the TUNEL assay showed that DNA fragmentation was significantly higher when sperm were incubated with either one of the CFs when compared to the AI or controls. The ultrastructure analysis of sperm cells showed evident changes in the structure of the plasma and acrosome membranes of sperm incubated with endosulfan AI or the CFs. These results suggest that endosulfan can affect sperm integrity and in vitro chromatin decondensation as well as DNA fragmentation. FULL TEXT

Andersen et al., 2008

Andersen, H. R., Schmidt, I. M., Grandjean, P., Jensen, T. K., Budtz-Jorgensen, E., Kjaerstad, M. B., Baelum, J., Nielsen, J. B., Skakkebaek, N. E., & Main, K. M.; “Impaired reproductive development in sons of women occupationally exposed to pesticides during pregnancy;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008, 116(4), 566-572; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.10790.


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this prospective study was to investigate whether occupational pesticide exposure during pregnancy causes adverse effects on the reproductive development in the male infants.

DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: Pregnant women employed in greenhouses in Denmark were consecutively recruited, and 113 mother-son pairs were included. The mothers were categorized as occupationally exposed (91 sons) or unexposed (22 sons) to pesticides during pregnancy. Testicular position and volume, penile length, and position of urethral opening were determined at 3 months of age using standardized techniques. Concentrations of reproductive hormones in serum from the boys were analyzed.

RESULTS: The prevalence of cryptorchidism at 3 months of age was 6.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.0-12.4]. This prevalence was considerably higher than among Danish boys born in the Copenhagen area (1.9%; 95% CI, 1.2-3.0) examined by the same procedure. Boys of pesticide-exposed mothers showed decreased penile length, testicular volume, serum concentrations of testosterone, and inhibin B. Serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and the luteinizing hormone: testosterone ratio were increased compared with boys of nonexposed mothers. For individual parameters, only the decreased penile length was statistically significant (p = 0.04). However, all observed effects were in the anticipated direction, and a joint multivariate test showed that this finding had a p-value of 0.012.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest an adverse effect of maternal occupational pesticide exposure on reproductive development in the sons despite current greenhouse safeguards and special measures to protect pregnant women.


Scholze et al., 2020

Scholze, M., Taxvig, C., Kortenkamp, A., Boberg, J., Christiansen, S., Svingen, T., Lauschke, K., Frandsen, H., Ermler, S., Hermann, S. S., Pedersen, M., Lykkeberg, A. K., Axelstad, M., & Vinggaard, A. M.; “Quantitative in Vitro to in Vivo Extrapolation (QIVIVE) for Predicting Reduced Anogenital Distance Produced by Anti-Androgenic Pesticides in a Rodent Model for Male Reproductive Disorders;” Environ Health Perspect, 2020, 128(11), 117005; DOI: 10.1289/EHP6774.


BACKGROUND: Many pesticides can antagonize the androgen receptor (AR) or inhibit androgen synthesis in vitro but their potential to cause reproductive toxicity related to disruption of androgen action during fetal life is difficult to predict. Currently no approaches for using in vitro data to anticipate such in vivo effects exist. Prioritization schemes that limit unnecessary in vivo testing are urgently needed.

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to develop a quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE) approach for predicting in vivo anti-androgenicity arising from gestational exposures and manifesting as a shortened anogenital distance (AGD) in male rats.

METHODS: We built a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBK) model to simulate concentrations of chemicals in the fetus resulting from maternal dosing. The predicted fetal levels were compared with analytically determined concentrations, and these were judged against in vitro active concentrations for AR antagonism and androgen synthesis suppression.

RESULTS: We first evaluated our model by using in vitro and in vivo anti-androgenic data for procymidone, vinclozolin, and linuron. Our PBK model described the measured fetal concentrations of parent compounds and metabolites quite accurately (within a factor of five). We applied the model to nine current-use pesticides, all with in vitro evidence for anti-androgenicity but missing in vivo data. Seven pesticides (fludioxonil, cyprodinil, dimethomorph, imazalil, quinoxyfen, fenhexamid, o-phenylphenol) were predicted to produce a shortened AGD in male pups, whereas two (lambda-cyhalothrin, pyrimethanil) were anticipated to be inactive. We tested these expectations for fludioxonil, cyprodinil, and dimethomorph and observed shortened AGD in male pups after gestational exposure. The measured fetal concentrations agreed well with PBK-modeled predictions.

DISCUSSION: Our QIVIVE model newly identified fludioxonil, cyprodinil, and dimethomorph as in vivo anti-androgens. With the examples investigated, our approach shows great promise for predicting in vivo anti-androgenicity (i.e., AGD shortening) for chemicals with in vitro activity and for minimizing unnecessary in vivo testing.  FULL TEXT

Dai et al., 2016

Dai, P., Hu, P., Tang, J., Li, Y., & Li, C.; “Effect of glyphosate on reproductive organs in male rat;” Acta Histochemica, 2016, 118(5), 519-526; DOI: 10.1016/j.acthis.2016.05.009.


Glyphosate as an active ingredient of Roundup((R)) which is thought to be one of the most popular herbicide was used worldwide. Many studies have focused on reproductive toxicity on glyphosate-based herbicide, but few evidence exists to imply the male reproductive toxicity of glyphosate alone in vivo. In this study SD rats were Lavaged with glyphosate at doses of 5, 50, 500mg/kg to detect the toxicity of glyphosate on rat testis. Glyphosate significantly decreased the average daily feed intake at dose of 50mg/kg, and the weight of seminal vesicle gland, coagulating gland as well as the total sperm count at dose of 500mg/kg. Immunohistochemistry of androgen receptor (AR) has no difference among all groups. As to testosterone, estradiol, progesterone and oxidative stress parameters, the level of them has no differences amidst all doses. Taken together, we conclude that glyphosate alone has low toxicity on male rats reproductive system.

Pham et al., 2019

Pham, T. H., Derian, L., Kervarrec, C., Kernanec, P. Y., Jegou, B., Smagulova, F., & Gely-Pernot, A.; “Perinatal Exposure to Glyphosate and a Glyphosate-Based Herbicide Affect Spermatogenesis in Mice;” Toxicological Science, 2019, 169(1), 260-271; DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfz039.


Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. Several studies have investigated the effects of glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) on male reproduction, but there is still little and conflicting evidence for its toxicity. In this study, we analyzed the effects of glyphosate, alone or in formula, on the male reproductive system. Pregnant mice were treated from E10.5 to 20 days postpartum by adding glyphosate or a GBH (Roundup 3 Plus) to their drinking water at 0.5 (the acceptable daily intake, ADI dose), 5 and 50 mg/kg/day. Male offspring derived from treated mice were sacrificed at 5, 20, and 35 days old (d.o.) and 8 months old (m.o.) for analysis. Our result showed that exposure to glyphosate, but not GBH, affects testis morphology in 20 d.o. and decrease serum testosterone concentrations in 35 d.o. males. We identified that the spermatozoa number decreased by 89% and 84% in 0.5 and 5 mg/kg/day of GBH and glyphosate groups, respectively. Moreover, the undifferentiated spermatogonia numbers were decreased by 60% in 5 mg/kg/day glyphosate group, which could be due to the alterations in the expression of genes involved in germ cell differentiation such as Sall4 and Nano3 and apoptosis as Bax and Bcl2. In 8 m.o. animals, a decreased testosterone level was observed in GBH groups. Our data demonstrate that glyphosate and GBHs could cause endocrine-disrupting effects on male reproduction at low doses. As glyphosate has effects at the ADI level, our data suggest that the current ADI for glyphosate could be overestimated.