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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Oct;72(20):3915-30. doi: 10.1007/s00018-015-1981-4. Epub 2015 Jul 10.

Oestrogen action and male fertility: experimental and clinical findings.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of the Agro-Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. xiangdongli@cau.edu.cn.
2
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.
3
State Key Laboratory of the Agro-Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.
4
Department of General Surgery, The 301th Hospital of PLA, Beijing, China.
5
Department of Physiology, Institute F Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.

Abstract

A proper balance between androgen and oestrogen is fundamental for normal male reproductive development and function in both animals and humans. This balance is governed by the cytochrome P450 aromatase, which is expressed also under spatio-temporal control. Oestrogen receptors ERα and/or ERβ, together with the membrane-associated G-protein-coupled functional ER (GPER), mediate the effects of oestrogen in the testis. Oestrogen action in male reproduction is more complex than previously predicted. The androgen/oestrogen balance and its regulation in the masculinisation programming window (MPW) during foetal life is the most critical period for the development of the male reproductive system. If this balance is impaired during the MPW, the male reproductive system may be negatively affected. Recent data from genetically modified mice and human infertile patients have shown that oestrogens may promote the engulfment of live Leydig cells by macrophages leading to male infertility. We also discuss recent data on environmental oestrogen exposure in men and rodents, where a rodent-human distinction is crucial and analyse some aspects of male fertility potentially related to impaired oestrogen/androgen balance.

KEYWORDS:

Male fertility; Oestrogen; Oestrogen receptor

PMID:
26160724
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-015-1981-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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