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Phthalates impair germ cell number in the mouse fetal testis by an androgen- and estrogen-independent mechanism.

Abstract : Data from experiments conducted almost exclusively in the rat have established that some phthalates have deleterious effects on the fetal testis probably due to their antiandrogenic and/or estrogenic effects, but their mechanisms of action remain unknown. A recent study reported that phthalates also have deleterious effects on human fetal testis with germ cell number, but not steroidogenesis altered. Therefore, we used organ culture of fetal testes at different stages of development to analyze the direct effects of phthalates on both steroidogenesis and gonocyte development and to determine if the effects of MEHP on these functions reported in the rat can be extended to other mammalian species. We defined specific periods of sensitivity of the fetal mouse testis to MEHP for these two functions and showed that the effects of phthalates on steroidogenesis vary with the developmental stage. Conversely, the strong deleterious effects of phthalates on germ cells were constantly present during the active phases of gonocyte development and thus share no relationship with the steroidogenic status. Moreover, all the effects of phthalates were unchanged in testes from mice deficient for estrogen (ERalphaKO or ERbetaKO) or androgen (Tfm) receptors. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that phthalates impair mouse fetal germ cell number similarly to other mammalian species, but are neither estrogenic nor antiandrogenic molecules because their effects do not involve, directly or indirectly, ER or AR.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 7:20:39 PM
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Abdelali Lehraiki, Chrystèle Racine, Andrée Krust, René Habert, Christine Levacher. Phthalates impair germ cell number in the mouse fetal testis by an androgen- and estrogen-independent mechanism.. Toxicological Sciences, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2009, 111 (2), pp.372-82. ⟨10.1093/toxsci/kfp153⟩. ⟨inserm-00438655⟩



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