Contaminant mixtures and human reproductive health – novel strategies for health impact and risk assessment of endocrine disrupters

Project Details


Disruption of hormonal signalling in foetal life can irreversibly affect human development and reproductive health at a later age. Of considerable concern in Europe is a decline in male semen quality and a high prevalence of congenital malformations of reproductive organs and hormone-dependent cancers. It appears plausible that environmental chemicals with endocrine activity may be involved in the causation of these disorders, but as yet, individual substances cannot be shown to contribute to adverse effects at relevant exposure levels. However, there are indications that combinations of chemicals may play a cumulative role.

DTU FOOD conducts extended developmental toxicity rat studies by investigating the possible role of mixtures of 12-14 estrogens, anti-androgens and other classes of EDCs in producing long-lasting delayed adverse reproductive effects at environmentally relevant levels. The endpoints assessed will cover effects on male and female offspring during the postnatal development of the pups as well as long-lasting effects in adult offspring, i.e., anogenital distance, nipple retention, mammary gland development, histopathology and gene expression in selected reproductive organs, puberty, malformations of reproductive organs (hypospadias), oestrus cycling, semen quality and sexual dimorphic behaviour. DTU FOOD will also conduct In vitro assays and is responsible for the H295R cells.
Effective start/end date01/05/200831/12/2011

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Universidad De Granada (Project partner)
  • Faust und Backhaus Environmental Consulting GBR (Project partner)
  • Erasmus University Medical Center (Project partner)
  • University of Sussex (Project partner)
  • GREEN Tox (Project partner)
  • University of Bristol (Project partner)
  • University College London (Project partner)
  • University of London (Project partner)


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