Combined exposure to anti-androgens causes markedly increased frequencies of hypospadias in the rat

Sofie Christiansen, M. Scholze, Marta Axelstad Petersen, Julie Boberg, A. Kortenkamp, Ulla Hass

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The incidence of hypospadias is increasing in young boys, but it remains unclear whether human exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals plays a role. Risk assessment is based on estimation of no-observed-adverse-effect levels for single compounds, although humans are exposed to combinations of several anti-androgenic chemicals. In a mixture (MIX) study with three androgen receptor antagonists, vinclozolin, flutamide and procymidone, rats were gavaged during gestation and lactation with several doses of a MIX of the three chemicals or the chemicals alone. External malformations of the male reproductive organs were assessed on PND 47 using a score from 0 to 3 (normal to marked) for hypospadias. Markedly increased frequencies were observed after exposure to a MIX of the three chemicals compared to administration of the three chemicals alone. Anogenital distance at PND 1, nipple retention at PND 13, and dysgenesis score at PND 16 were highly correlated with the occurrence of hypospadias, and MIX effects were seen at doses where each of the individual chemicals caused no observable effects. Therefore, the results indicate that doses of anti-androgens, which appear to induce no hypospadias when judged on their own, may induce a very high frequency of hypospadias when they interact in concert with other anti-androgens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)241-248
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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