Send to

Choose Destination
Obes Rev. 2017 Jan;18(1):109-125. doi: 10.1111/obr.12469. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Obesogens and male fertility.

Author information

Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS-UBI), University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India.
KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India.
Department of Microscopy, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS) and Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine (UMIB), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
i3S- Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.


In the last decades, several studies evidenced a decrease in male fertility in developed countries. Although the aetiology of this trend in male reproductive health remains a matter of debate, environmental compounds that predispose to weight gain, namely obesogens, are appointed as contributors because of their action as endocrine disruptors. Obesogens favour adipogenesis by an imbalance of metabolic processes and can be found virtually everywhere. These compounds easily accumulate in tissues with high lipid content. Obesogens change the functioning of male reproductive axis, and, consequently, the testicular physiology and metabolism that are pivotal for spermatogenesis. The disruption of these tightly regulated metabolic pathways leads to adverse reproductive outcomes. Notably, adverse effects of obesogens may also promote disturbances in the metabolic performance of the following generations, through epigenetic modifications passed by male gametes. Thus, unveiling the molecular pathways by which obesogens induce toxicity that may end up in epigenetic modifications is imperative. Otherwise, a transgenerational susceptibility to metabolic diseases may be favoured. We present an up-to-date overview of the impact of obesogens on testicular physiology, with a particular focus on testicular metabolism. We also address the effects of obesogens on male reproductive parameters and the subsequent consequences for male fertility.


Endocrine disruptors; male fertility; obesogens; testicular metabolism

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center