Endocrine disruptor chemicals. A review of their effects on male reproduction and antioxidants as a strategy to counter it


Endocrine disruptor chemicals are exogenous molecules that generate adverse effects on human health by destabilizing the homeostasis of endocrine system and affecting directly human reproductive system by inhibiting or activating oestrogenic or androgenic receptors. Endocrine disruptor chemicals generate transgenerational epigenetic problems, besides being associated with male infertility. Epidemiological data indicate that the increase in reproductive problems in males in the last 50 years is correlated with the increase of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment, being associated with a decrease in semen quality and direct effects on spermatozoa, such as alterations in motility, viability and acrosomal reaction, due to the generation of oxidative stress, and have also been postulated as a possible cause of testicular dysgenesis syndrome. Diverse antioxidants, such as C and E vitamins, N-acetylcysteine, selenium and natural vegetable extracts, are among the alternatives under study to counter the effects of endocrine disruptor chemicals. In some cases, the usage of them has given positive results and the opposite in others. In this review, we summarize the recent information about the effects of endocrine disruptor chemicals on male reproduction, on sperm cells, and the results of studies that have tested antioxidants as a strategy to diminish their harmful effects.

Authors: Nelson Quilaqueo, Juana V Villegas
; Full Source: Andrologia 2021 Nov 11;e14302. doi: 10.1111/and.14302.