Manhood threatened: Could estrogenic pesticides affect male fertility?

Podivinsky, E. (2007) Manhood threatened: Could estrogenic pesticides affect male fertility? In: Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA) & Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB) Annual Scientific Meeting, 2-5 September, 2007, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Abstract or Summary

It has been suggested that exposure to agricultural pesticides may affect male fertility. Pyrethroids are widely used insecticides due to their insecticidal potency and low mammalian toxicity. We used a recombinant yeast assay system to analyze the estrogenicity of a range of readily available pyrethroid pesticides. The pyrethroid compounds bifenthrin, cypermethrin, and pyrethrum, and a synthetic metabolite of permethrin [3-(4-hydroxy-phenoxy) benzyl alcohol] tested positive for estrogenic activity based on ability to activate the α-estrogen receptor in the yeast assay. To determine whether these compounds could have an effect on male fertility mouse Sertoli cells were exposed to the endogenous estrogen, 17β-estradiol, and selected estrogenic pyrethroids. The effect of these compounds on gene expression of the α-and β-estrogen receptors was assessed at the levels of mRNA and protein. The effect on estrogen receptor levels of exposure of the Sertoli cells to the pyrethroid compounds, at both high and physiologically relevant concentrations, was different to the effect of exposure to 17β-estradiol. From these results we suggest that male fertility could be affected through molecular mechanisms involving the estrogen receptors, should cells in the male testes be exposed to pyrethroids at physiologically relevant concentrations.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords that describe the item:estrogen, agricultural pesticides, male fertility, pyrethroids, bifenthrin, cypermethrin, pyrethrum, mouse Sertoli cells
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Science and Primary Industries
ID Code:805
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Deposited On:18 Oct 2010 05:01
Last Modified:18 Oct 2010 05:01

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