The development and function of testicles can be adversely affected as a result of exposure to certain environmental pollutants, as has been proven in an investigation carried out by scientists of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), which has received the collaboration of a group of researchers from the University of Utrecht (Holland).
The researchers selected various compounds that are classified as endocrine disruptors because they have the ability to interfere with the endocrine system and have effects on the reproductive function, and subjected male mice to exposure to these substances during embryonic development, using doses higher than those considered to affect humans.
Certain substances can affect the testicles in early stages of embryonic development and cause disorders that influence the fertility of males
The substances used, which can be found in certain pesticides, cosmetics, plastics and food, and used in different doses, were phthalate (a plasticizer), bisphenol A (used to make plastics), zearalenone (which is a toxin that it is found in some cereals), estradiol (a female sex hormone) and lindane (a pesticide).
The research data showed that these substances can affect the testes in early stages of embryonic development and cause disorders that influence the fertility of males. One of the authors of the study, Jesus del Mazo, from the Center for Biological Research of the CSIC, explained that an increase in testicular development and testicular function has been observed in animals and humans in several studies. epidemiological
The expert adds that there has been an increase in the incidence of testicular cancer in young men, and an increase in genital malformations, in addition to a progressive decrease in the quality and quantity of sperm, all disorders associated with endocrine disruptors.
The authors of the work hope that their conclusions serve to encourage new studies that contribute to identify molecular biomarkers of reproductive toxicity to avoid the possible undesired effects of this type of substances.