Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Effect of endocrine disruptors on primordial germ cell and fetal testis development

The present results represent the first indication that exposure to estrogens during embryonic life may have profound effect on PGC growth and differentiation through they action on gonadal somatic cells. Evidence is provided that in association with genetic background and conditions (i.e. KL/c-Kit mutations, PTEN inactivation) favouring increased and/or prolonged PGC proliferation and the availability of factors affecting PGC differentiation, embryo exposure to high levels of estrogens or EDs constitutes a risk for PGC transformation in tumorigenic cells. This process can be at the origin of germ cell tumour formation in the testis and in other extragonadal sites where PGCs can misallocated.

This information can be used as basis for genetic studies in humans focused on the expression of polymorphism for KIT/KIL and Akt/PTEN in male infertility and testicular tumours. The in vitro assay devised on fetal testis cells represents a novel test useful for rapid estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity screening and to investigate the molecular pathways underlying the effect of these compounds on testis development. Focused microarray analyses started in the present project offer precious clues for the identification of crucial molecular pathways of germ and testis somatic cell development that can be deregulated by exposure to environmental EDs.

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Universita di Roma "Tor Vergata". Facolta di Medicina Y Chirurgia
Via Montpellier, 1
00133 Roma
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