The influence of endocrine disruptors in a selected population of infertile women

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2013 May;29(5):444-7. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2012.758702. Epub 2013 Jan 24.


Several studies report that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) able to interfere with endocrine homeostasis may affect women's reproductive health. We analyzed EDC serum levels and nuclear receptors (NRs) expression in order to have an indication of the internal dose of biologically active compounds and a measurement of indicators of their effects, as a result of the repeated uptake from environmental source. The percentage of patients with detectable bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations was significantly higher in the infertile patients compared with fertile subjects. No significant difference was found between the groups with regard to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), mono-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) concentrations. Among infertile women, the mean expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and beta (Erβ), androgen receptor (AR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) was significantly higher than fertile patients. The mean expression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) did not show significant differences between two groups. Patients with endometriosis had higher levels of PPARγ than all women with other causes of infertility. This study led further support to EDC exposure as a risk factor for women's fertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endocrine Disruptors / adverse effects*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / blood
  • Infertility, Female / chemically induced*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear