[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Semen quality in humans may be influenced by exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds.
We analyzed associations between semen characteristics and serum xenoestrogen receptor (XER), xenoandrogen receptor (XAR), and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) transactivity. XER and XAR activity were measured in serum samples cleared for endogenous steroid hormones and AhR activity in raw lipophilic serum extracts free of proteins.
All together, 319 men from Warsaw (Poland), Greenland, Kharkiv (Ukraine), and Sweden provided semen and blood samples. No strong and consistent associations between xenobiotic activity and semen quality measures were observed in the four populations. However, when the data were combined across populations sperm concentration increased 40% per unit increase in XER activity [95% confidence interval (CI), 1-79%] in the subgroup with XER activity below the reference level. Among subjects with XER activity above the reference level an increase of 14% (95% CI, 2-28%) was found. Furthermore, an increase of 10% motile sperm per unit increase in XER activity below reference level (95% CI, 0.2-20) was found. We are unable to exclude that the associations are chance findings.
Alteration of XER, XAR, or AhR transactivity within the range found in serum from the general European and Inuit population seems not to markedly deteriorate sperm cell concentration, motility, or morphology in adult men.