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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Estrogen and spermatogenesis.

Although it has been known for many years that estrogen administration has deleterious effects on male fertility, data from transgenic mice deficient in estrogen receptors or aromatase point to an essential physiological role for estrogen in male fertility. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the localization of estrogen receptors and aromatase in the testis in an effort to understand the likely sites of estrogen action. The review also discusses the many studies that have used models employing the administration of estrogenic substances to show that male fertility is responsive to estrogen, thus providing a mechanism by which inappropriate exposure to estrogenic substances may cause adverse effects on spermatogenesis and male fertility. The reproductive phenotypes of mice deficient in estrogen receptors alpha and/or beta and aromatase are also compared to evaluate the physiological role of estrogen in male fertility. The review focuses on the effects of estrogen administration or deprivation, primarily in rodents, on the hypothalamo-pituitary-testis axis, testicular function (including Leydig cell, Sertoli cell, and germ cell development and function), and in the development and function of the efferent ductules and epididymis. The requirement for estrogen in normal male sexual behavior is also reviewed, along with the somewhat limited data on the fertility of men who lack either the capacity to produce or respond to estrogen. This review highlights the ability of exogenous estrogen exposure to perturb spermatogenesis and male fertility, as well as the emerging physiological role of estrogens in male fertility, suggesting that, in this local context, estrogenic substances should also be considered "male hormones."[1]


  1. Estrogen and spermatogenesis. O'Donnell, L., Robertson, K.M., Jones, M.E., Simpson, E.R. Endocr. Rev. (2001) [Pubmed]
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