Human and wildlife exposure to chemicals is thought to be extensive and particularly to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) suspected to alter male reproductive tract. When the exposure occurs during perinatal period (fetal, neonatal periods or puberty) the reproductive health alterations are irreversible suggesting a developmental origin to male infertility. This concept is supported by numerous epidemiologic and experimental studies. This review summarizes the data concerning the epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, chromatin remodelling, small-non coding RNAs) involved in developmentally-induced male infertility. These data open potentially to new diagnosis tools and new trails to assessment of EDCs risks.
© 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.