Effects of motor vehicle exhaust on male reproductive function and associated proteins

J Proteome Res. 2015 Jan 2;14(1):22-37. doi: 10.1021/pr500939c. Epub 2014 Nov 3.


Air pollution is consistently associated with various diseases and subsequent death among children, adult, and elderly people worldwide. Motor vehicle exhaust contributes to a large proportion of the air pollution present. The motor vehicle exhaust systems emit a variety of toxic components, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ozone, particulate matter, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Several epidemiological studies and laboratory studies have demonstrated that these components are potentially mutagenic, carcinogenic, and endocrine disrupting agents. However, their impact on male reproductive function and associated proteins is not very clear. Therefore, a comprehensive review on the effects of motor vehicle exhaust on male reproductive function and associated proteins is needed to better understand the risks of exhaust exposure for men. We found that motor vehicle exhaust can cause harmful effects on male reproductive functions by altering organ weights, reducing the spermatozoa qualities, and inducing oxidative stress. Remarkably, motor vehicle exhaust exposure causes significant changes in the expression patterns of proteins that are key components involved in spermatogenesis and testosterone synthesis. In conclusion, this review helps to describe the risks of vehicle exhaust exposure and its relationship to potential adverse effects on the male reproduction system.

Keywords: male reproduction; motor vehicle exhaust; proteins; toxic components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / chemically induced*
  • Infertility, Male / metabolism
  • Male
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / chemically induced
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / metabolism
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Vehicle Emissions / toxicity*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter
  • Proteome
  • Vehicle Emissions