Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4801–4820 | Cite as

An increase of estrogen receptor α protein level regulates BDE-209-mediated blood-testis barrier disruption during spermatogenesis in F1 mice

  • Jinxia ZhaiEmail author
  • Xiya Geng
  • Tao Ding
  • Jun Li
  • Jing Tang
  • Daojun Chen
  • Longjiang Cui
  • Qizhi Wang
Research Article


Deca-bromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) regulates various aspects of spermatogenesis and male fertility through its effect on estrogen receptor α (ERα), but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Because molecular mechanisms such as remodeling of the blood-testis barrier (BTB) play crucial roles in spermatogenesis, we investigated the disruptive effects of ERα agonists on the BTB in spermatogenesis. In this study, 0, 300, and 500 mg/kg/day of BDE-209 were administered to pregnant adult mice by oral gavage from gestation day 7 to postnatal day 21. SerW3 cells were treated with methylpiperidino pyrazole (MPP) for 30 min before being treated with 50 μg/mL of BDE-209. BDE-209 increases ERα in time- and dose-dependent manners and decreases formin 1 and BTB-associated protein in F1 male mice. Furthermore, BDE-209 impairs the structure and function of the BTB. Activation of ERα signaling could disrupt the BTB, leading to spermatogenesis dysfunction. The results identified the role of ERα in BTB disruption during spermatogenesis and suggested that BTB disruption occurs because of exposure to BDE-209, which could potentially affect spermatogenesis. In conclusion, Sertoli cells seem to be the primary target of BDE-209 in the perinatal period, and this period constitutes a critical window of susceptibility to BDE-209. Also, the SerW3 cell model may not be a particularly useful cell model for studying the function of the cytoskeleton.


BDE-209 MPP Estrogen receptor α Spermatogenesis Reproductive and developmental toxicology 

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3784_MOESM1_ESM.docx (68 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 67 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinxia Zhai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiya Geng
    • 1
  • Tao Ding
    • 1
  • Jun Li
    • 1
  • Jing Tang
    • 1
  • Daojun Chen
    • 1
  • Longjiang Cui
    • 1
  • Qizhi Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public HealthAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina
  2. 2.School of Energy and EnvironmentSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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