Semen quality in relation to xenohormone and dioxin-like serum activity among inuits and three european populations

Gunnar Toft, Manhai Long, Tanja Krüger, Philip S. Hjelmborg, Jens Peter Bonde, Anna Rignell-Hydbom, Ewa Tyrkiel, Lars Hagmar, Aleksander Giwercman, Marcello Spanó, Davide Bizzaro, Henning S. Pedersen, Vladymir Lesovoy, Jan K. Ludwicki, Eva C. Bonefeld-Jørgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Semen quality in humans may be influenced by exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds. OBJECTIVES: We analyzed associations between semen characteristics and serum xenoestrogen receptor (XER), xenoandrogen receptor (XAR), and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) transactivity. XER and XAR activity were measured in serum samples cleared for endogenous steroid hormones and AhR activity in raw lipophilic serum extracts free of proteins. RESULTS: All together, 319 men from Warsaw (Poland), Greenland, Kharkiv (Ukraine), and Sweden provided semen and blood samples. No strong and consistent associations between xenobiotic activity and semen quality measures were observed in the four populations. However, when the data were combined across populations sperm concentration increased 40% per unit increase in XER activity [95% confidence interval (CI), 1-79%] in the subgroup with XER activity below the reference level. Among subjects with XER activity above the reference level an increase of 14% (95% CI, 2-28%) was found. Furthermore, an increase of 10% motile sperm per unit increase in XER activity below reference level (95% CI, 0.2-20) was found. We are unable to exclude that the associations are chance findings. CONCLUSION: Alteration of XER, XAR, or AhR transactivity within the range found in serum from the general European and Inuit population seems not to markedly deteriorate sperm cell concentration, motility, or morphology in adult men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15 - 20
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Toft, G., Long, M., Krüger, T., Hjelmborg, P. S., Bonde, J. P., Rignell-Hydbom, A., ... Bonefeld-Jørgensen, E. C. (2007). Semen quality in relation to xenohormone and dioxin-like serum activity among inuits and three european populations. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(SUPPL1), 15 - 20.