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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 684504, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/684504
Review Article

Endocrine Disruptors and Leydig Cell Function

Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Karolinska Institute & University Hospital, Q2:08, E-17176 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 11 December 2009; Revised 23 May 2010; Accepted 23 June 2010

Academic Editor: Leon Spicer

Copyright © 2010 K. Svechnikov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

During the past decades, a large body of information concerning the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on animals and humans has been accumulated. EDCs are of synthetic or natural origin and certain groups are known to disrupt the action of androgens and to impair the development of the male reproductive tract and external genitalia. The present overview describes the effects of the different classes of EDCs, such as pesticides, phthalates, dioxins, and phytoestrogens, including newly synthesized resveratrol analogs on steroidogenesis in Leydig cells. The potential impact of these compounds on androgen production by Leydig cells during fetal development and in the adult age is discussed. In addition, the possible role of EDCs in connection with the increasing frequency of abnormalities in reproductive development in animals and humans is discussed.