The effects of selected endocrine disruptors on the activity of testicular 11--hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in men with various degree of infertility

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: SUN 366-382-Physiological Impacts of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Sunday, June 16, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board SUN-370
Jana Kubatova*1, Jiri Heracek2, Richard Hampl1, Marie Bicikova1, Martin Hill1, Lucie Sosvorova1 and Luboslav Starka1
1Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic, 2Charles University, Third Faculty of Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
Increasing number of male reproductive disorders has been observed in the recent decades. It is suggested that this may be due to an exposure to hormonally active substances- endocrine disruptors (EDs)- in the environment and in the food chain.

The mechanism of ED action is most often explained by binding to nuclear steroid receptors. EDs can also act via nonnuclear steroid hormone receptors, nonsteroid receptors, orphan receptors and influence enzymatic pathways involved in steroid biosynthesis and/or metabolism.

Our research is focused on an additional possible mechanism of endocrine disruptor´s action. We hypothesized that EDs could affect the activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11βHSD) type 2. The role of 11βHSD type 2 in testes represent the conversion of active stress hormone cortisol into inactive cortisone and thus protection of the target tissue from excess of glucocorticoids. Since glucocorticoids inhibit expression of lutropin receptors, an excess of cortisol in Leydig cells can lead to decrease of testosterone levels that are essential for sperm production.

To evaluate an impact of selected EDs on activity of 11βHSD we correlated cortisol/cortisone ratio from seminal fluid with the serum levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, 4 classes) in men.

The preliminary study consists of 52 men (age 35.45 ± 5.54) divided into the groups according spermiogram values: healthy men (A, n=39), lightly infertile men (B, n=8), moderately infertile men (C, n=3), and severely infertile men (D, n=2). One-way ANOVA followed by multiple comparison test was used to compare groups. Statistical significance was found when comparing cortisol/cortisone ratio in groups (mean ratio A: 0.63; B: 1.16; C:0.78; D:0,37; p=0.0041). The ratio was the highest in lightly infertile men in comparison with other groups; it means their 11βHSD activity was the lowest. Subsequently, the activity of 11βHSD in moderately infertile men was lower than in healthy men and severely infertile men. There wasn´t significant difference among groups in serum PCBs levels (mean concentration-pg/g, A: 1,61; B: 1.85, C:1.92; D1,55; NS).

Our pilot study revealed that the activity of 11βHSD was lower in lightly as well as moderately infertile men compared with healthy men and severely infertile men but the association with PCBs serum levels was not observed.

This work was supported by grant IGA NT/13369-4 and IGA NT/12349-4 from the Czech Ministry of Health.

Nothing to Disclose: JK, JH, RH, MB, MH, LS, LS

*Please take note of The Endocrine Society's News Embargo Policy at

Sources of Research Support: This work was supported by grant IGA NT/13369-4 and NT/12349-4 from the Czech Ministry of Health.