The living environment can affect men’s reproductive health

New research by scientists from the University of Nottingham suggests that the environment in which men live can affect their reproductive health.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, looked at the effects of geographic location on polluting chemicals in dog tests, some of which are known to affect reproductive health. The unique research focused on dogs because, as a popular pet, they share the same environment as humans and are effectively exposed to the same household chemicals as their owners.

The team also looked for signs of abnormalities in the testicles. The results showed that both the chemicals present and the extent of the abnormalities in the testicles varied depending on where the dog lived.

The researchers analyzed the testes of dogs that had been removed for routine clinical reasons to determine what environmentally harmful chemicals were present in the tissues. Samples were taken from across the UK, the East and West Midlands and the South East, as well as Denmark and Finland.

For the first time, we’ve shown that the profile of chemical pollutants in dogs’ testes depends on where they come from. We also showed that the same cohorts of dog tests also had geographical differences in testicular pathology and evidence of an imbalance in cells important for sperm production. “

Dr. Rebecca Sumner, Director of Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham

Dr. Richard Lea, head of the team, said: “Although this study suggests that dog tests from Finland are less pathological compared to other locations, it is difficult to relate this to the chemicals detected, especially since many other pollutants may also be present are.

“We believe this study is critical because our strategy of using the dog as a sentinel species for humans has allowed us to focus directly on the testes, where chemicals detected are likely to affect male reproductive function. ” Professor Gary England, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine & Science, said, “This work is significant as these results taken together indicate that environmental exposure is location determined and this may corroborate regional variations in male reproductive health.”


Journal reference:

Sumner, RN et al. (2021) Environmental chemicals in dog tests reflect their geographic source and may be linked to an altered pathology. Scientific reports.

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