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Fertility/Reproductive Health
Working Group

CHE's Fertility & Reproductive Health Working Group convenes over 450 diverse members around environmental impacts on fertility and reproductive health. The goal of this dynamic conversation is to discern what the science is telling us, where the research gaps are, and how we can effectively support and promote science-based education and action. Read more...

If you would like to join and are already a CHE Partner, send us an email request. Or become a CHE Partner and indicate your interest in your application.

For more information, please contact Karin Russ at karin@healthandenvironment.org.


Highlights, July 2015

CEHN June 2015 Article of the Month
“Estimated Exposure to Arsenic in Breastfed and Formula-Fed Infants in a United States Cohort”
has been selected by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) as its June 2015 Article of the Month. These CEHN summaries discuss the potential policy implications of current children’s environmental health research.

New publications of interest:

A Unique Gene Regulatory Network Resets the Human Germline Epigenome for Development
We provide comprehensive insight on early human germline transcriptional network and epigenetic reprogramming that subsequently impacts human development and disease. Cell.

Fetal programming and epigenetic mechanisms in arterial hypertension
This article provides an overview of available evidence of the potential role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of hypertension and vascular dysfunction. Current Opinion in Cardiology.

Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Profiling Reveals Epigenetic Changes in the Rat Nucleus Accumbens Associated with Cross-Generational Effects of Adolescent THC Exposure
These data provide novel insight into drug-related cross-generational epigenetic effects, and serve as a useful resource for investigators to explore novel neurobiological systems underlying drug abuse vulnerability. Neuropsychopharmacology.

Early Programming of Uterine Tissue by Bisphenol A: Critical Evaluation of Evidence from Animal Exposure Studies
Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) during the critical window of uterine development has been proposed to program the uterus for increased disease susceptibility based on well-documented effects of the potent xenoestrogen diethylstilbestrol. To investigate this proposal, we reviewed 37 studies of prenatal and/or perinatal BPA exposure in animal models and evaluated evidence for: molecular signatures of early BPA exposure; the development of adverse uterine health effects; and epigenetic changes linked to long-term dysregulation of uterine gene expression and health effects. We found substantial evidence for adult uterine effects of early BPA exposure. Reproductive Toxicology.

Multigenerational and transgenerational effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals: A role for altered epigenetic regulation?
In this review, we will focus on the available data demonstrating the ability of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and parabens, to alter epigenetic marks in rodents and humans. Semininars in Cell & Developmental Biology.

Prenatal exposure to lipopolysaccharide results in myocardial fibrosis in rat offspring
This study was designed to investigate the effects of prenatal exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on myocardial fibrosis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Endocrine disruptors and female cancer: Informing the patients (Review)
Pollutants altering the endocrine system, known as endocrine disruptors (ED), may modify the risk of female cancers. The carcinogenic effect of ED on humans has been confirmed by experimental studies for various substances including pesticides, DDT, dioxins, phthalates, bisphenol A, diethylstilbestrol, as well as heavy metals, but it is difficult to quantify precisely for several reasons hereby reviewed. In the last part of the review we suggest ways to reduce ED exposure as it is mandatory to implement necessary measures to limit exposure, particularly during those periods of life most vulnerable to the impact of oncogenic environmental causes, such as the embryonic period and puberty. Oncology Reports.

Placental mitochondrial methylation and exposure to airborne particulate matter in the early life environment: An ENVIRONAGE birth cohort study
This study provides new insight into the mechanisms of altered mitochondrial function in the early life environment. Epigenetic modifications in the mitochondrial genome, especially in the MT-RNR1 region, substantially mediate the association between PM2.5 exposure during gestation and placental mtDNA content, which could reflect signs of mitophagy and mitochondrial death. Epigenetics.

Pubertal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate inhibits G9a-mediated histone methylation during spermatogenesis in mice
The data showed that pubertal exposure to DEHP induces sperm count reduction as well as histological abnormalities in seminiferous epithelium and apoptosis of post-meiotic germ cells, and these effects are concomitant with reduction of testosterone levels and its steroidogenic gene expression. Our results suggest that the DEHP-induced male reproductive impairments may depend on its estrogenic action on estrogen receptor and nuclear receptor, and involve inhibition of steroidogenesis, SSC self-renewal and meiosis, which may be attributed to the down-regulation of G9a-mediated histone methylation. Archives of Toxicology.

Early maternal alcohol consumption alters hippocampal DNA methylation, gene expression and volume in a mouse model
This study indicates that ethanol exposure in early gestation can cause changes in DNA methylation, gene expression, and brain structure of offspring. Furthermore, the results support the hypothesis of early epigenetic origin of alcohol-induced disorders: changes in gene regulation may have already taken place in embryonic stem cells and therefore can be seen in different tissue types later in life. PLoS One.

See a searchable calendar with events of interest to this working group.

UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment present Visionary Leadership Awards

6/14/13: The UCSF PRHE program awarded its Visionary Leadership Award at the start of The Endocrine Society Meeting in San Francisco to three prominent leaders of professional societies. Teresa Woodruff, President-elect of The Endocrine Society, Linda Giudice, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and Jeanne Conry, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were this year's recipients. The award is given to visionary leaders working to improve reproductive health by preventing harmful environmental exposures.

Pictured above (L-R) are PRHE Director, Tracey Woodruff with Linda Giudice and CHE Fertility founder, Alison Carlson. Below, Vice-Chair of CHE Michael Lerner, Alison Carlson, former CHE Fertility coordinator Julia Varshavsky, and current coordinator Karin Russ gather to commemorate the occasion.

Second Annual CHE/NIEHS Women's Environmental Reproductive Health Consortium Meeting

For additional information, visit: Women's Environmental Reproductive Health Consortium. 


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