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Issue 133 Autumn 2019

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2019 > Hot topics


Transgenerational effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on reproduction

| Hot topics



©aqua-mech/CC BY 2.0

©aqua-mech/CC BY 2.0

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are known to adversely affect male and female fertility. However, it has only recently been discovered that they may have transgenerational effects on reproductive capability, as Brehm et al. summarise in this review.

Humans are exposed to EDCs every day, as a result of the presence of these compounds in plastics, personal care products and pesticides. In recent studies in male and female rodents, EDCs have been shown to have multigenerational and transgenerational effects on reproduction. In both sexes, transgenerational effects on fertility, puberty and reproductive organ size have been observed. Additionally, oestrous cyclicity, follicle number and litter size, alongside sperm number and sperm viability, were affected in females and males respectively.

The results discussed in this review give us an insight into the possible implications of EDCs for humans. They highlight the need for further studies, utilising experimental designs that reflect human daily exposure, for us to begin to understand the impact EDCs may have on reproduction across generations.

Read the full article in Endocrinology 160 1421–1435




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