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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 August;58(4):341-5

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Endocrine disrupters and male gonads

Guarneri M. P., Colombo I., Chiumello G.

Unità Operativa di Pediatria e Neonatologia Università Vita e Salute San Raffaele, Milano


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More and more, reports have indicated a rise in the prevalence of male urogenital disorders, including malformations and degenerative diseases, along with a drop in the quality of seminal fluid and reduced male fertility. Though controversial, the data have opened a lively scientific debate concerning the possible causes of the disorders. The factors universally considered as potentially disruptive to gonadal development and function are endocrine disrupters. Because of their estrogenic or antiandrogenic action, these exogenous substances can interfere with the delicate endocrine balance during the pre- and postnatal phases, provoking immediate or insidious toxic effects. Endocrine disrupters are ubiquitous; their number is increasing, as are reports on their toxic effects on humans and animals alike. Their toxic potential appears to be linked to exposure during growth and development, specifically in the prenatal period and the first years of life, when the male seems particularly susceptible to environmental toxic insult. Viewed in the light of criticality, male urogenital disorders are reviewed and cause-effect relationships are examined.

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