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Epidemiological studies have shown strong deterioration in male reproductive health globally due to compromised testosterone production leading to altered spermatogenesis and poor sperm quality. However, the effects and mechanisms through which mycotoxins and persistent organochloride pesticides contribute to poor reproductive health in males remain unclear. The effects of single and binary combinations of ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, alpha-zearalenol, beta-zearalenol and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane on testicular steroidogenesis were evaluated using the MA-10 Leydig cell line after 48 h of exposure. Zearalenone exposure, especially at 16 μM, had a stimulatory effect on progesterone secretion (4.7 ± 0.48 ng/mL compared to 0.60 ± 0.07 ng/mL in control), but inhibited testosterone production after 48 h compared to the solvent control. Ochratoxin A treatment significantly increased both progesterone and testosterone levels. Combination of alpha-zearalenol with beta-zearalenol showed a synergistic stimulation of progesterone hormone level at 1 and 8 μM. The results presented here show that the MA-10 Leydig cell line is a useful model for assessing the effects of xenoestrogens on testicular steroidogenesis. In addition, the inhibitory effects of zearalenone, alpha-zearalenol and beta-zearalenol on testosterone production was enhanced by co-exposure with 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane, further compounding the threat posed by these mycotoxins to male reproductive health.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA
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