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Contribution of environmental pollutants to male infertily: A working model of germ cell apoptosis induced by plasticizers

DOI: 10.4067/S0716-97602012000100001

Keywords: testis, spermatogenesis, bisphenol a, nonylphenol, adam17.

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Abstract:

bisphenol a [2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane] (bpa), 4-nonylphenol (np) and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (dehp), and its metabolite mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (mehp) are chemicals found in plastics, which act as endocrine disruptors (eds) in animals, including human. eds act like hormones in the endocrine system, and disrupt the physiologic function of endogenous hormones. most people are exposed to different endocrine disruptors and concern has been raised about their true effect on reproductive organs. in the testis, they seem to preferentially attack developing testis during puberty rather than adult organs. however, the lack of information about the molecular mechanism, and the apparently controversial effect observed in different models has hampered the understanding of their effects on mammalian spermatogenesis. in this review, we critically discuss the available information regarding the effect of bpa, np and dehp/ mehp upon mammalian spermatogenesis, a major target of eds. germ cell sloughing, disruption of the blood-testis-barrier and germ cell apoptosis are the most common effects reported in the available literature. we propose a model at the molecular level to explain the effects at the cellular level, mainly focused on germ cell apoptosis.

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