Endocrine Disruptors and Testis DevelopmentEPA Grant Number: R827405
Title: Endocrine Disruptors and Testis Development
Investigators: Skinner, Michael K.
Institution: Washington State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 1999 through July 31, 2002
Project Amount: $534,583
RFA: Endocrine Disruptors (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Endocrine Disruptors , Human Health , Safer Chemicals
Description:The proposed research is designed to develop a better understanding of how endocrine disruptors influence testis development and function. Of particular interest are the cell-cell interactions that regulate testis growth, size and morphogenesis which directly influence male fertility and sperm production. Sertoli cells are the epithelial cells responsible for the onset of embryonic testis development and maintenance of spermatogenesis in the adult testis. Preliminary research has demonstrated that two families of paracrine growth factors directly influence testis development and function. THE HYPOTHESIS TESTED IS THAT ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS EFFECT LOCALLY PRODUCED PARACRINE GROWTH FACTORS THAT ARE ESSENTIAL FOR TESTICULAR CELL GROWTH AND DIFFERENTIATION DURING EMBRYONIC AND POSTNATAL TESTIS DEVELOPMENT AND THAT THIS DIRECTLY INFLUENCES MALE FERTILITY AND SPERM PRODUCTION IN THE ADULT. Abnormal testis development and male infertility caused by endocrine disruptors may in part be due to inappropriate control of testicular cell growth and differentiation during development. Preliminary studies indicate that the transforming growth factor families are critical for embryonic testis growth. Preliminary studies also indicate that the neurotropin family of factors (i.e. NT3) has a critical role in the morphogenesis of testis development (i.e. sex cord or seminiferous tubule formation). The experimental approach consists of the following specific aims:
- Investigate the effects of endocrine disruptors on the transforming growth factor families during testis development.
- Investigate the effects of endocrine disruptors on the neurotropin growth factor family during testis development.
- Investigate the physiological effects of these endocrine disruptors during testis development on male fertility.