Estrogens and Spermatogenesis

  • Chandrima Shaha
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (volume 636)


For many years androgens were thought to be the primary hormones required for proper functioning of the male reproductive system, and testes were shown to be the major producers of the hormone. In the 1970s it was recognized that in addition to androgens testes were also a source of estrogens, and the intratesticular concentration of estrogens was higher than levels present in the serum of females of reproductive age1,2. Since then there has been an interest in the study of the role of estrogens in the male. However, in recent years a great interest has been regenerated to decipher the role of estrogens in the control of male fertility because of various developments. For example, discovery of the estrogen receptor β (ERß) in the male3 was an important development, and the evidence emerging from mice with targeted disruption of estrogen receptors showing defects in male fertility4 was another provocative evidence of the importance of estrogens in male reproduction. In addition, the description of reduction in sperm counts and increase in the incidence of testicular tumors in men to which environmental estrogens were causally linked5 were also important observations on pathology-inducing effects of estrogens. It is now established that estrogens are involved in numerous physiological processes in the male, for example, bone turnover, behavior and the cardiovascular system, but controversy exists as to whether male fertility over the past five decades has truly shown a decline6 due to the relatively low levels of estrogens in the environment than humans are exposed to7. As a result of this renewed interest, the role of estrogens in male reproductive physiology is rapidly being redefined. It is therefore pertinent that a comprehensive evaluation of the data on the role of estrogens in the male is made.


Estrogen Receptor Germ Cell Sertoli Cell Leydig Cell Spermatogenic Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandrima Shaha
    • 1
  1. 1.Cell Death and Differentiation LaboratoryNational Institute of ImmunologyNew DelhiIndia

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