Exposure to Persistent Organochlorine Pollutants Associates With Human Sperm Y:X Chromosome Ratio

Fertility Centre, Scanian Andrology Centre, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, SE 205 02 Malmö, Sweden.
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.57). 07/2005; 20(7):1903-9. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deh855
Source: PubMed


During the last decades, there has been concern that exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs), may contribute to sex ratio changes in offspring of exposed populations.
To investigate whether exposure to 2,2'4,4'5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (p,p'-DDE) affect Y:X chromosome proportion, semen of 149 Swedish fishermen, aged 27-67 years, was investigated. The men provided semen and blood for analysis of hormone, CB-153 and p,p'-DDE levels. The proportion of Y- and X-chromosome bearing sperm in semen samples was determined by two-colour fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis.
Log transformed CB-153 as well as log transformed p,p'-DDE variables were both significantly positively associated with Y chromosome fractions (P-values = 0.05 and <0.001, respectively). Neither age, smoking nor hormone levels showed any association with Y-chromosome fractions.
This is the first study to indicate that exposure to POPs may increase the proportion of ejaculated Y-bearing spermatozoa. These data add to the growing body of evidence that exposure to POPs may alter the offspring sex ratio.

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    • "A similar bias for male births has been reported with maternal cannabis use (Tennes et al., 1985). The mechanisms by which alterations in sex ratio occur are not known, but speculative explanations include changes in parental hormonal levels during or around the time of conception (James, 1996), an increase in XY embryos, enhanced loss of XX embryos, or the survival of Y sperm over X sperm (Tildo et al., 2005). Kinsley and Svare (1988) Table 7 Four-month outcomes by MDMA status, unadjusted. "
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    ABSTRACT: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or "Ecstasy" is one of the most widely used illicit recreational drugs among young adults. MDMA is an indirect monoaminergic agonist and reuptake inhibitor that primarily affects the serotonin system. Preclinical studies in animals have found prenatal exposure related to neonatal tremors and long-term learning and memory impairments. To date, there are no prospective studies of the sequelae of prenatal exposure to MDMA in humans, despite concerns about its potential for harmful effects to the fetus. The present study is the first to prospectively identify MDMA-using women during pregnancy and to document patterns and correlates of use with neonatal and early infancy outcomes of offspring. All mothers and infants were prospectively recruited through the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and University of East London (UEL) Drugs and Infancy Study (DAISY) that focused on recreational drug use in pregnant women. Women were interviewed about substance use prior to and during pregnancy and infants were seen at 1 and 4 months using standardized, normative assessments of neonatal behavior, and cognitive and motor development, including the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), the Bayley Mental and Motor Development Scales (MDI, PDI), and the Alberta Infant Motor Scales (AIMS). The sample was primarily middle class with some university education and in stable partner relationships. The majority of women recruited had taken a number of illicit drugs prior to or during pregnancy. Group differences between those polydrug using women who had specifically used MDMA during pregnancy (n=28) and those who had not (n=68) were assessed using chi-square and t-tests. MDMA and other drug effects were assessed through multiple regression analyses controlling for confounding variables. Women who used MDMA during pregnancy had fewer prior births and more negative sequelae associated with their drug use, including more health, work, and social problems. MDMA exposed infants differed in sex ratio (more male births) and had poorer motor quality and lower milestone attainment at 4 months, with a dose-response relationship to amount of MDMA exposure. These findings suggest risk to the developing infant related to MDMA exposure and warrant continued follow-up to determine whether early motor delays persist or resolve.
    Neurotoxicology and Teratology 02/2012; 34(3):303-10. DOI:10.1016/ · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    • "DDE, aldrin, endosulfan, and isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), were detected in men in India (Potashnik et al., 1987). Exposure to persistent organoclorine pollutants has been associated with human perturbations of the sperm X:Y chromosome ratio (Niederberger, 2005). On the other hand, a high dose of 2-bromopropane decreases spermatogenesis by adversely affecting spermatogonia followed by depletion of spermatocytes, spermatids, and spermatozoa, with subsequent testicular atrophy (Hwa–Young et al., 1999). "
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    • "Alternatively, in a study exploring the Y:X sperm ratio in men exposed to PCBs and p,p´-DDE, Tiido et al. (2006) showed an association between increased exposures to organochlorines and increased ejaculated Y-bearing sperm. Tiido et al. (2005) hypothesized that the decrease in X-bearing ejaculated sperm may be due to the effects of organo chlorines on the formation of X-chromosome micronuclei , which are chromosomal fragments or whole chromosomes that are not incorporated into daughter nuclei because of chromosomal breakage or dys function (Gauthier et al. 1999). A recent study by Pedersen et al. (2010) showed a positive association between dioxin-like PCBs and increased micro nuclei frequencies in cord blood of infants exposed in utero. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosomal abnormalities contribute substantially to reproductive problems, but the role of environmental risk factors has received little attention. We evaluated the association of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) exposures with sperm sex-chromosome disomy. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 192 men from subfertile couples. We used multiprobe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosomes X, Y, and 18 to determine XX, YY, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy in sperm nuclei. Serum was analyzed for concentrations of 57 PCB congeners and p,p'-DDE. Poisson regression models were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for disomy by exposure quartiles, controlling for demographic characteristics and semen parameters. The median percent disomy was 0.3 for XX and YY, 0.9 for XY, and 1.6 for total sex-chromosome disomy. We observed a significant trend of increasing IRRs for increasing quartiles of p,p'-DDE in XX, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy, and a significant trend of increasing IRRs for increasing quartiles of PCBs for XY and total sex-chromosome disomy; however, there was a significant inverse association for XX disomy. Our findings suggest that exposure to p,p'-DDE may be associated with increased rates of XX, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy, whereas exposure to PCBs may be associated with increased rates of YY, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy. In addition, we observed an inverse association between increased exposure to PCBs and XX disomy. Further work is needed to confirm these findings.
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