Successive Generations of Estrogenic Exposure and Male Reproductive Health

September 20, 2017
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Horan TS, et al. Germline and reproductive tract effects intensify in male mice with successive generations of estrogenic exposure. PLoS Genet 13(7): e1006885. July 20, 2017. 

Levine H, et al. Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Human Reproduction Update 1-14. July 25, 2017. 

Myers, Pete. Are we in a male fertility death spiral? Environmental Health News. July 26, 2017.

Dr. Pat Hunt, Center for Reproductive Biology, School of Molecular Bioscience, Washington State University, and PhD candidate, Tegan Horan, have recently identified a mechanism that may explain why sperm counts are decreasing around the globe.

Dr. Hunt, a leading authority on endocrine disrupting chemicals and sperm development, has pioneered research identifying how fetal exposures to EDCs can induce abnormalities in male reproductive tract development. These induced abnormalities may persist for several generations in the unexposed descendants of these exposed males.

This approach, however, has limited human relevance, since both the number and volume of estrogenic contaminants in the environment have increased steadily over time, and most human populations are experiencing intensified rather than reduced or eliminated exposure to many environmental chemicals that have estrogenic effects. Dr. Hunt and Tegan Horan addressed this concern in their study, which assesses the impact of an EDC exposure, in this case the synthetic estrogen ethinyl estradiol, on the capacity of the descendants of an exposed generation to produce sperm, as well as the impacts of exposing more than one generation.

On Wednesday, September 20, at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 7pm Central Europe, Tegan Horan presented a webinar about how multiple generations of exposure may increase the incidence and severity of reproductive tract abnormalities. This research demonstrated that once exposure occurs and causes adverse effects on the reproductive tract, subsequent generations may experience heightened vulnerability to the same or similar chemicals. And this may mean that subsequent generations of humans may experience increasing rates of infertility, given continuing and increasing exposures to EDC chemicals.

Featured Speaker

Tegan HoranTegan Horan is a Ph.D. candidate and trainee in Patricia Hunt’s laboratory in the School of Molecular Bioscience at Washington State University. The complex biocultural origins of sex and gender are at the heart of her research interests, and to that end she has completed a Master’s degree in Genetics from the University of Adelaide where she studied the evolution of spermatogenesis in the platypus, and a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Washington State University. 



This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Carol Kwiatkowski and Katie Pelch (TEDX), Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal Program on Endocrine Disruption Strategies), and Genon Jensen (HEAL) and coordinated by Maria Williams (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page.

This webinar was moderated by Sharyle Patton, director of the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center. The webinar lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.