Pesticides and Male Fertility: A Dangerous Crosstalk


In recent decades, an increasing incidence of male infertility has been reported. Interestingly, and considering that pesticides have been used for a long time, the high incidence of this pathological state is concomitant with the increasing use of these chemicals, suggesting they are contributors for the development of human infertility. Data from literature highlight the ability of certain pesticides and/or their metabolites to persist in the environment for long periods of time, as well as to bioaccumulate in the food chain, thus contributing for their chronic exposure. Furthermore, pesticides can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), interfering with the normal function of natural hormones (which are responsible for the regulation of the reproductive system), or even as obesogens, promoting obesity and associated comorbidities, like infertility. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have focused on the effects and possible mechanisms of action of these pesticides on the male reproductive system that cause sundry negative effects, even though through diverse mechanisms, but all may lead to infertility. In this review, we present an up-to-date overview and discussion of the effects, and the metabolic and molecular features of pesticides on somatic cells and germinal tissues that affect germ cell differentiation.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Moreira, S; Pereira, SC; Seco-Rovira, V; Oliveira, PF; Alves, MG; Pereira, MD

our authors


This work was supported by Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia-FCT to CICECOAveiro Institute of Materials (UIDB/50011/2020 and UIDP/50011/2020), LAQV-REQUIMTE (UIDB/50006/2020), UMIB (UIDB/00215/2020, and UIDP/00215/2020), ITR-Laboratory for Integrative and Translational Research in Population Health (LA/P/0064/2020) and the post-graduation student S. Moreira (DFA/BD/6438/2020). Pedro F. Oliveira is funded by national funds through FCT-Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia, I.P., under the Scientific Employment Stimulus-Institutional Callreference CEECINST/00026/2018, financed by national funds through the FCT/MCTES/FSE/UE.

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