Fetal Rat Testis mRNA Expression after 50 mg/kg Dibutyl Phthalate Exposure
ABSTRACT: High dose level dibutyl phthalate (DBP) exposure of fetal rat testes in vivo inhibits testosterone production (i.e. endocrine disruption). Here, fetal testis mRNA levels were profiled following exposure to a DBP dose level that did not significantly reduce testosterone levels. The goal was to identify the constellation of gene expression changes that do not correlate with endocrine disruption. Overall design: Fischer 344 rats were exposed via oral gavage of the dam to vehicle (corn oil) or 50 mg/kg (body weight) DBP daily from gestational day (GD) 12 to 20. The day after mating was defined as gestational day 0. Six hours after the final exposure on GD20, fetal testes were dissected and mRNA levels quantified using Affymetrix Rat Expression 230 2.0 microarrays.
INSTRUMENT(S): [Rat230_2] Affymetrix Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array
Project description:High dose level dibutyl phthalate (DBP) exposure of fetal rat testes in vivo inhibits testosterone production (i.e. endocrine disruption). Here, fetal testis mRNA levels were profiled following exposure to a DBP dose level that did not significantly reduce testosterone levels. The goal was to identify the constellation of gene expression changes that do not correlate with endocrine disruption. Fischer 344 rats were exposed via oral gavage of the dam to vehicle (corn oil) or 50 mg/kg (body weight) DBP daily from gestational day (GD) 12 to 20. The day after mating was defined as gestational day 0. Six hours after the final exposure on GD20, fetal testes were dissected and mRNA levels quantified using Affymetrix Rat Expression 230 2.0 microarrays.
Project description:The testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS) hypothesis, which proposes that common reproductive disorders of newborn and adult human males may have a common fetal origin, is largely untested. We tested this hypothesis using a rat model involving gestational exposure to dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which suppresses testosterone production by the fetal testis. We evaluated if induction of TDS via testosterone suppression is restricted to the "masculinization programming window" (MPW), as indicated by reduction in anogenital distance (AGD). We show that DBP suppresses fetal testosterone equally during and after the MPW, but only DBP exposure in the MPW causes reduced AGD, focal testicular dysgenesis, and TDS disorders (cryptorchidism, hypospadias, reduced adult testis size, and compensated adult Leydig cell failure). Focal testicular dysgenesis, reduced size of adult male reproductive organs, and TDS disorders and their severity were all strongly associated with reduced AGD. We related our findings to human TDS cases by demonstrating similar focal dysgenetic changes in testes of men with preinvasive germ cell neoplasia (GCNIS) and in testes of DBP-MPW animals. If our results are translatable to humans, they suggest that identification of potential causes of human TDS disorders should focus on exposures during a human MPW equivalent, especially if negatively associated with offspring AGD.
Project description:Endocrine disruptors (ED) have been incriminated in the current increase of male reproductive alterations. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used weak estrogenic environmental ED and it is debated whether BPA concentrations within the average internal exposure are toxic. In the present study we investigated the effects of 10(-12) to 10(-5) M BPA concentrations on fetal Leydig cell function, as fetal life is a critical period of sensitivity to ED effects on male reproductive function. To this aim, fetal testes from human at 6.5-10.5 gestational weeks (GW) or from rat and mouse at a comparable critical period of development (14.5 days post-coitum (dpc) for rat and 12.5 dpc for mouse) were explanted and cultured using our validated organotypic culture system in the presence or absence of BPA for 1-3 days. BPA concentrations as low as 10(-8) M reduced testosterone secretion by human testes from day 1 of culture onwards, but not by mouse and rat testes where concentrations equal to 10(-5) M BPA were required. Similarly, 10(-8) M BPA reduced INSL3 mRNA levels only in human cultured testes. On the contrary, 10(-5) and 10(-6) M diethylstilbestrol (DES), a classical estrogenic compound, affected testosterone secretion only in rat and mouse testis cultures, but not in human testis cultures. Lastly, contrarily to the DES effect, the negative effect of BPA on testosterone produced by the mouse fetal testis was maintained after invalidation of estrogen receptor α (ERα). In conclusion, these results evidenced i) a deleterious effect of BPA on fetal Leydig cells function in human for concentrations from 10(-8) M upwards, ii) species-specific differences raising concerns about extrapolation of data from rodent studies to human risk assessment, iii) a specific signaling pathway for BPA which differs from the DES one and which does not involve ERα.
Project description:Certain phthalates can impair Leydig cell distribution and steroidogenesis in the fetal rat in utero, but it is unknown whether similar effects might occur in the human.Our aim in this study was to investigate the effects of di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), or its metabolite monobutyl phthalate (MBP), on testosterone production and Leydig cell aggregation (LCA) in fetal testis explants from the rat and human, and to compare the results with in vivo findings for DBP-exposed rats. We also wanted to determine if DBP/MBP affects testosterone production in vivo in the neonatal male marmoset.Fetal testis explants obtained from the rat [gestation day (GD)19.5] and from the human (15-19 weeks of gestation) were cultured for 24-48 hr with or without human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or 22R-hydroxycholesterol (22R-OH), and with or without DBP/MBP. Pregnant rats and neonatal male marmosets were dosed with 500 mg/kg/day DBP or MBP.Exposure of rats in utero to DBP (500 mg/kg/day) for 48 hr before GD21.5 induced major suppression of intratesticular testosterone levels and cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) expression; this short-term treatment induced LCA, but was less marked than longer term (GD13.5-20.5) DBP treatment. In vitro, MBP (10(-3) M) did not affect basal or 22R-OH-stimulated testosterone production by fetal rat testis explants but slightly attenuated hCG-stimulated steroidogenesis; MBP induced minor LCA in vitro. None of these parameters were affected in human fetal testis explants cultured with 10(-3) M MBP for up to 48 hr. Because the in vivo effects of DBP/MBP were not reproduced in vitro in the rat, the absence of MBP effects in vitro on fetal human testes is inconclusive. In newborn (Day 2-7) marmosets, administration of a single dose of 500 mg/kg MBP significantly (p = 0.019) suppressed blood testosterone levels 5 hr later. Similar treatment of newborn co-twin male marmosets for 14 days resulted in increased Leydig cell volume per testis (p = 0.011), compared with co-twin controls; this is consistent with MBP-induced inhibition of steroidogenesis followed by compensatory Leydig cell hyperplasia/hypertrophy.These findings suggest that MBP/DBP suppresses steroidogenesis by fetal-type Leydig cells in primates as in rodents, but this cannot be studied in vitro.
Project description:In utero exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals may contribute to testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS), a proposed constellation of increasingly common male reproductive tract abnormalities (including hypospadias, cryptorchidism, hypospermatogenesis, and testicular cancer). Male rats exposed in utero to certain phthalate plasticizers exhibit multinucleated germ cell (MNG) induction and suppressed steroidogenic gene expression and testosterone production in the fetal testis, causing TDS-consistent effects of hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Mice exposed to phthalates in utero exhibit MNG induction only. This disparity in response demonstrates a species-specific sensitivity to phthalate-induced suppression of fetal Leydig cell steroidogenesis. Importantly, ex vivo phthalate exposure of the fetal testis does not recapitulate the species-specific endocrine disruption, demonstrating the need for a new bioassay to assess the human response to phthalates.In this study, we aimed to develop and validate a rat and mouse testis xenograft bioassay of phthalate exposure and examine the human fetal testis response.Fetal rat, mouse, and human testes were xenografted into immunodeficient rodent hosts, and hosts were gavaged with a range of phthalate doses over multiple days. Xenografts were harvested and assessed for histopathology and steroidogenic end points.Consistent with the in utero response, phthalate exposure induced MNG formation in rat and mouse xenografts, but only rats exhibited suppressed steroidogenesis. Across a range of doses, human fetal testis xenografts exhibited MNG induction but were resistant to suppression of steroidogenic gene expression.Phthalate exposure of grafted human fetal testis altered fetal germ cells but did not reduce expression of genes that regulate fetal testosterone biosynthesis.
Project description:Among pregnant women ibuprofen is one of the most frequently used pharmaceutical compounds with up to 28% reporting use. Regardless of this, it remains unknown whether ibuprofen could act as an endocrine disruptor as reported for fellow analgesics paracetamol and aspirin. To investigate this, we exposed human fetal testes (7-17 gestational weeks (GW)) to ibuprofen using ex vivo culture and xenograft systems. Ibuprofen suppressed testosterone and Leydig cell hormone INSL3 during culture of 8-9?GW fetal testes with concomitant reduction in expression of the steroidogenic enzymes CYP11A1, CYP17A1 and HSD17B3, and of INSL3. Testosterone was not suppressed in testes from fetuses younger than 8?GW, older than 10-12?GW, or in second trimester xenografted testes (14-17?GW). Ex vivo, ibuprofen also affected Sertoli cell by suppressing AMH production and mRNA expression of AMH, SOX9, DHH, and COL2A1. While PGE2 production was suppressed by ibuprofen, PGD2 production was not. Germ cell transcripts POU5F1, TFAP2C, LIN28A, ALPP and KIT were also reduced by ibuprofen. We conclude that, at concentrations relevant to human exposure and within a particular narrow 'early window' of sensitivity within first trimester, ibuprofen causes direct endocrine disturbances in the human fetal testis and alteration of the germ cell biology.
Project description:The reproductive system is extremely susceptible to environmental insults, for example exogenous steroids during gestational development and differentiation. Experimental induction of androgen excess during prenatal life in female animal models reprograms their reproductive physiology, however the fetal programming of the male reproductive system by androgen excess has not been well studied. We aimed to determine the effect of prenatal exposure of two different doses of testosterone on different gestational days, on the male reproductive system using a rat model. Sixteen pregnant rats were randomly divided into two experimental groups and two control groups. Experimental group ? were subcutaneously injected with 3 mg free testosterone on gestational days 16-19 and its controls received solvent for that time; experimental group ? were subcutaneously injected with 20 mg free testosterone on day 20 of gestational period and its controls received solvent at the same time. The reproductive system morphology and function of 32 male offspring of these study groups were compared at days 6-30-60 of age and after puberty. The anogenital distance of the male offspring of both experimental groups had no significant differences on the different days of measurement, compared with controls. In the offspring of experimental group ?, the testes weight, number of Sertoli, Spermatocyte and Spermatid cells, sperm count and motility and the serum concentration of testosterone after puberty were significantly decreased; except for reduction of sperm motility (p< 0.01), the other effects were not observed in the offspring of experimental group ??. In summary, our data show that prenatal exposure of male rat fetuses to excess testosterone disrupted reproductive function, an effect highly dependent on the time, duration and level of exposure. It seems that the reproductive system in individuals exposed to high levels of androgens during fetal life should be evaluated at puberty and likely to be treated.
Project description:Fetal rat phthalate exposure produces a spectrum of male reproductive tract malformations downstream of reduced Leydig cell testosterone production, but the molecular mechanism of phthalate perturbation of Leydig cell function is not well understood. By bioinformatically examining fetal testis expression microarray data sets from susceptible (rat) and resistant (mouse) species after dibutyl phthalate (DBP) exposure, we identified decreased expression of several metabolic pathways in both species. However, lipid metabolism pathways transcriptionally regulated by sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) were inhibited in the rat but induced in the mouse, and this differential species response corresponded with repression of the steroidogenic pathway. In rats exposed to 100 or 500 mg/kg DBP from gestational days (GD) 16 to 20, a correlation was observed between GD20 testis steroidogenic inhibition and reductions of testis cholesterol synthesis endpoints including testis total cholesterol levels, Srebf2 gene expression, and cholesterol synthesis pathway gene expression. SREBP2 expression was detected in all fetal rat testis cells but was highest in Leydig cells. Quantification of SREBP2 immunostaining showed that 500 mg/kg DBP exposure significantly reduced SREBP2 expression in rat fetal Leydig cells but not in seminiferous cords. By Western analysis, total rat testis SREBP2 levels were not altered by DBP exposure. Together, these data suggest that phthalate-induced inhibition of fetal testis steroidogenesis is closely associated with reduced activity of several lipid metabolism pathways and SREBP2-dependent cholesterologenesis in Leydig cells.
Project description:Atrazine (ATR) is a commonly used agricultural herbicide and a potential endocrine disruptor that may cause testicular dysgenesis. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of atrazine on fetal testis development after in utero exposure. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were gavaged daily with vehicle (corn oil, control) or atrazine (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg body weight/day) from gestational day 12 to 21. Atrazine dose-dependently decreased serum testosterone levels of male pups, with a significant difference from the control recorded at a dose of 100 mg/kg. In addition, atrazine significantly increased fetal Leydig cell aggregation at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Atrazine increased fetal Leydig cell number but not Sertoli cell number. However, atrazine down-regulated Scarb1 and Cyp17a1 in the fetal Leydig cell per se and Hsd17b3 and Dhh in the Sertoli cell per se. These results demonstrated that in utero exposure to atrazine disrupted rat fetal testis development.
Project description:In utero exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) has been shown to result in decreased androgen formation by fetal and adult rat testes. In the fetus, decreased androgen is accompanied by the reduced expression of steroidogenic enzymes. The mechanism by which in utero exposure results in reduced androgen formation in the adult, however, is unknown. We hypothesized that deregulation of the nuclear steroid receptors might explain the effects of in utero DEHP exposure on adult testosterone production. To test this hypothesis, pregnant Sprague Dawley dams were gavaged with 100-950 mg DEHP per kilogram per day from gestational d 14-19, and testes were collected at gestational d 20 and postnatal days (PND) 3, 21, and 60. Among the nuclear receptors studied, the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) mRNA and protein levels were reduced in PND60 interstitial Leydig cells, accompanied by reduced mRNA expression of MR-regulated genes. Methylation-sensitive PCR showed effects on the nuclear receptor subfamilies NR3A and -3C, but only MR was affected at PND60. Pyrosequencing of two CpG islands within the MR gene promoter revealed a loss of methylation in DEHP-treated animals that was correlated with reduced MR. Because MR activation is known to stimulate Leydig cell testosterone formation, and MR inhibition to be repressive, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that in utero exposure to DEHP leads to MR dysfunction and thus to depressed testosterone production in the adult. We suggest that decreased MR, possibly epigenetically mediated, is a novel mechanism by which phthalates may affect diverse functions later in life.