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Dioxin exposure, from infancy through puberty, produces endocrine disruption and affects human semen quality.

Mocarelli P, Gerthoux PM, Patterson DG, Milani S, Limonta G, Bertona M, Signorini S, Tramacere P, Colombo L, Crespi C, Brambilla P, Sarto C, Carreri V, Sampson EJ, Turner WE, Needham LL - Environ. Health Perspect. (2008)

Bottom Line: Relative to comparisons, 71 men (mean age at exposure, 6.2 years; median serum TCDD, 210 ppt) at 22-31 years of age showed reductions in sperm concentration (53.6 vs. 72.5 million/mL; p = 0.025); percent progressive motility (33.2% vs. 40.8%; p < 0.001); total motile sperm count (44.2 vs. 77.5 x 10(6); p = 0.018); estradiol (76.2 vs. 95.9 pmol/L; p = 0.001); and an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 3.58 vs. 2.98 IU/L; p = 0.055).Forty-four men (mean age at exposure, 13.2 years; median serum TCDD, 164 ppt) at 32-39 years of age showed increased total sperm count (272 vs. 191.9 x 10(6); p = 0.042), total motile sperm count (105 vs. 64.9 x10(6); p = 0.036), FSH (4.1 vs. 3.2 UI/L; p = 0.038), and reduced estradiol (74.4 vs. 92.9 pmol/L; p < 0.001).Exposure to TCDD in infancy reduces sperm concentration and motility, and an opposite effect is seen with exposure during puberty.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hospital of Desio, Milano, Italy. mocarelli@uds.unimib.it

ABSTRACT

Background: Environmental toxicants are allegedly involved in decreasing semen quality in recent decades; however, definitive proof is not yet available. In 1976 an accident exposed residents in Seveso, Italy, to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate reproductive hormones and sperm quality in exposed males.

Methods: We studied 135 males exposed to TCDD at three age groups, infancy/prepuberty (1-9 years), puberty (10-17 years), and adulthood (18-26 years), and 184 healthy male comparisons using 1976 serum TCDD levels and semen quality and reproductive hormones from samples collected 22 years later.

Results: Relative to comparisons, 71 men (mean age at exposure, 6.2 years; median serum TCDD, 210 ppt) at 22-31 years of age showed reductions in sperm concentration (53.6 vs. 72.5 million/mL; p = 0.025); percent progressive motility (33.2% vs. 40.8%; p < 0.001); total motile sperm count (44.2 vs. 77.5 x 10(6); p = 0.018); estradiol (76.2 vs. 95.9 pmol/L; p = 0.001); and an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 3.58 vs. 2.98 IU/L; p = 0.055). Forty-four men (mean age at exposure, 13.2 years; median serum TCDD, 164 ppt) at 32-39 years of age showed increased total sperm count (272 vs. 191.9 x 10(6); p = 0.042), total motile sperm count (105 vs. 64.9 x10(6); p = 0.036), FSH (4.1 vs. 3.2 UI/L; p = 0.038), and reduced estradiol (74.4 vs. 92.9 pmol/L; p < 0.001). No effects were observed in 20 men, 40-47 years of age, who were exposed to TCDD (median, 123 ppt) as adults (mean age at exposure, 21.5 years).

Conclusions: Exposure to TCDD in infancy reduces sperm concentration and motility, and an opposite effect is seen with exposure during puberty. Exposure in either period leads to permanent reduction of estradiol and increased FSH. These effects are permanent and occur at TCDD concentrations < 68 ppt, which is within one order of magnitude of those in the industrialized world in the 1970s and 1980s and may be responsible at least in part for the reported decrease in sperm quality, especially in younger men.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Box plots showing dioxin concentration on a serum lipid basis (A,C) and body burden [ng/kg body weight (bw); B,D] in the same men in 1976 (A, B) and in 1998 (C, D). Values shown are median (line within box), 25th and 75th percentiles (bottom and top of box, respectively), and outliers (circles). Whiskers indicate values within 1.5 times the interquartile range (25th–75th percentiles), and values in parentheses indicate number of men. Serum dioxin concentrations in comparison groups were < 15 ppt in 1976 and < 6.0 ppt in 1998. Because weight was not available in medical records for most of the subjects, dioxin body burden was mostly derived in 1976 using normal percentile distribution of weight according to age.
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f2-ehp0116-000070: Box plots showing dioxin concentration on a serum lipid basis (A,C) and body burden [ng/kg body weight (bw); B,D] in the same men in 1976 (A, B) and in 1998 (C, D). Values shown are median (line within box), 25th and 75th percentiles (bottom and top of box, respectively), and outliers (circles). Whiskers indicate values within 1.5 times the interquartile range (25th–75th percentiles), and values in parentheses indicate number of men. Serum dioxin concentrations in comparison groups were < 15 ppt in 1976 and < 6.0 ppt in 1998. Because weight was not available in medical records for most of the subjects, dioxin body burden was mostly derived in 1976 using normal percentile distribution of weight according to age.

Mentions: The 1976 serum TCDD concentrations of eligible men who did and did not participate in the study were similar (Figure 1). The TCDD concentrations (Figure 2A, 2B) were also comparable among exposed age groups. Median serum TCDD levels in 1998 (Figure 2C, 2D) were higher in males exposed in 1976 as adults than in males who were exposed as children. This is in agreement with the much shorter TCDD half-life in children (Aylward et al. 2005; Kreuzer et al. 1997), but this observation did not explain any statistically significant effects.


Dioxin exposure, from infancy through puberty, produces endocrine disruption and affects human semen quality.

Mocarelli P, Gerthoux PM, Patterson DG, Milani S, Limonta G, Bertona M, Signorini S, Tramacere P, Colombo L, Crespi C, Brambilla P, Sarto C, Carreri V, Sampson EJ, Turner WE, Needham LL - Environ. Health Perspect. (2008)

Box plots showing dioxin concentration on a serum lipid basis (A,C) and body burden [ng/kg body weight (bw); B,D] in the same men in 1976 (A, B) and in 1998 (C, D). Values shown are median (line within box), 25th and 75th percentiles (bottom and top of box, respectively), and outliers (circles). Whiskers indicate values within 1.5 times the interquartile range (25th–75th percentiles), and values in parentheses indicate number of men. Serum dioxin concentrations in comparison groups were < 15 ppt in 1976 and < 6.0 ppt in 1998. Because weight was not available in medical records for most of the subjects, dioxin body burden was mostly derived in 1976 using normal percentile distribution of weight according to age.
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2199303&req=5

f2-ehp0116-000070: Box plots showing dioxin concentration on a serum lipid basis (A,C) and body burden [ng/kg body weight (bw); B,D] in the same men in 1976 (A, B) and in 1998 (C, D). Values shown are median (line within box), 25th and 75th percentiles (bottom and top of box, respectively), and outliers (circles). Whiskers indicate values within 1.5 times the interquartile range (25th–75th percentiles), and values in parentheses indicate number of men. Serum dioxin concentrations in comparison groups were < 15 ppt in 1976 and < 6.0 ppt in 1998. Because weight was not available in medical records for most of the subjects, dioxin body burden was mostly derived in 1976 using normal percentile distribution of weight according to age.
Mentions: The 1976 serum TCDD concentrations of eligible men who did and did not participate in the study were similar (Figure 1). The TCDD concentrations (Figure 2A, 2B) were also comparable among exposed age groups. Median serum TCDD levels in 1998 (Figure 2C, 2D) were higher in males exposed in 1976 as adults than in males who were exposed as children. This is in agreement with the much shorter TCDD half-life in children (Aylward et al. 2005; Kreuzer et al. 1997), but this observation did not explain any statistically significant effects.

Bottom Line: Relative to comparisons, 71 men (mean age at exposure, 6.2 years; median serum TCDD, 210 ppt) at 22-31 years of age showed reductions in sperm concentration (53.6 vs. 72.5 million/mL; p = 0.025); percent progressive motility (33.2% vs. 40.8%; p < 0.001); total motile sperm count (44.2 vs. 77.5 x 10(6); p = 0.018); estradiol (76.2 vs. 95.9 pmol/L; p = 0.001); and an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 3.58 vs. 2.98 IU/L; p = 0.055).Forty-four men (mean age at exposure, 13.2 years; median serum TCDD, 164 ppt) at 32-39 years of age showed increased total sperm count (272 vs. 191.9 x 10(6); p = 0.042), total motile sperm count (105 vs. 64.9 x10(6); p = 0.036), FSH (4.1 vs. 3.2 UI/L; p = 0.038), and reduced estradiol (74.4 vs. 92.9 pmol/L; p < 0.001).Exposure to TCDD in infancy reduces sperm concentration and motility, and an opposite effect is seen with exposure during puberty.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hospital of Desio, Milano, Italy. mocarelli@uds.unimib.it

ABSTRACT

Background: Environmental toxicants are allegedly involved in decreasing semen quality in recent decades; however, definitive proof is not yet available. In 1976 an accident exposed residents in Seveso, Italy, to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate reproductive hormones and sperm quality in exposed males.

Methods: We studied 135 males exposed to TCDD at three age groups, infancy/prepuberty (1-9 years), puberty (10-17 years), and adulthood (18-26 years), and 184 healthy male comparisons using 1976 serum TCDD levels and semen quality and reproductive hormones from samples collected 22 years later.

Results: Relative to comparisons, 71 men (mean age at exposure, 6.2 years; median serum TCDD, 210 ppt) at 22-31 years of age showed reductions in sperm concentration (53.6 vs. 72.5 million/mL; p = 0.025); percent progressive motility (33.2% vs. 40.8%; p < 0.001); total motile sperm count (44.2 vs. 77.5 x 10(6); p = 0.018); estradiol (76.2 vs. 95.9 pmol/L; p = 0.001); and an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 3.58 vs. 2.98 IU/L; p = 0.055). Forty-four men (mean age at exposure, 13.2 years; median serum TCDD, 164 ppt) at 32-39 years of age showed increased total sperm count (272 vs. 191.9 x 10(6); p = 0.042), total motile sperm count (105 vs. 64.9 x10(6); p = 0.036), FSH (4.1 vs. 3.2 UI/L; p = 0.038), and reduced estradiol (74.4 vs. 92.9 pmol/L; p < 0.001). No effects were observed in 20 men, 40-47 years of age, who were exposed to TCDD (median, 123 ppt) as adults (mean age at exposure, 21.5 years).

Conclusions: Exposure to TCDD in infancy reduces sperm concentration and motility, and an opposite effect is seen with exposure during puberty. Exposure in either period leads to permanent reduction of estradiol and increased FSH. These effects are permanent and occur at TCDD concentrations < 68 ppt, which is within one order of magnitude of those in the industrialized world in the 1970s and 1980s and may be responsible at least in part for the reported decrease in sperm quality, especially in younger men.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus