New perspectives on PPAR, VDR and FXRα as new actors in testicular pathophysiology

Mol Aspects Med. 2021 Apr:78:100886. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2020.100886. Epub 2020 Aug 31.


The incidence of reproductive disorders is constantly increasing and affects 15% of couples, with male's abnormalities diagnosed in almost half of the cases. The male gonads exert two major functions of the testis with the productions of gametes (exocrine function) and of sexual hormones (endocrine function). In the last decades, next to steroid receptors such as estrogen and androgen receptors, the involvement of other members of the nuclear receptor superfamily have been described such as Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), Nerve growth factor IB (NGFIB), Liver-X-Receptorα (LXRα) and Dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia critical region, on chromosome X, gene 1 (DAX-1). The purpose of this review is to highlight the emerging roles of some members of the nuclear receptor superfamily among which the vitamin-D Receptor (VDR), Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR), Farnesoid-X-Receptor-α (FXRα). We discuss how these receptors could participate to explain male fertility disorders; and their potential to be use as biomarkers or therapeutic targets for management of fertility disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DAX-1 Orphan Nuclear Receptor
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Steroid*
  • Testis


  • DAX-1 Orphan Nuclear Receptor
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • VDR protein, human