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Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1509779

Sperm Aneuploidy in Faroese Men with Lifetime Exposure to Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Pollutants

Melissa J. Perry,1 Heather A. Young,2 Philippe Grandjean,3 Jónrit Halling,4 Maria Skaalum Petersen,4 Sheena E. Martenies,1 Parisa Karimi,1 and Pál Weihe4
Author Affiliations open
1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA; 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA; 3Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; and Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; 4Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health, the Faroese Hospital System, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

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  • Background: While it is known that sperm aneuploidy contributes to early pregnancy losses and congenital abnormalities, causes are unknown and environmental contaminants are suspected.

    Objectives: Our goal was to evaluate associations between lifetime exposure to organochlorines, specifically dichlorodiphenyldicholorethylene (p,p’-DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and sperm aneuploidy in men from the general population of the Faroe Islands, a population with a known history of organochlorine exposures.

    Methods: Serum and semen samples from men (n=90) ages 22-44 participating in Faroe Islands health studies were analyzed for p,p’-DDE and PCB (118, 138, 153, and 180) and adjusted for total lipids. Cord blood and age 14 serum were available for a subgroup (n=40) and also analyzed for p,p’-DDE and PCBs. Sperm fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosome X, Y, and 18 was used to determine rates of XX18, XY18, YY18 and total disomy. Multivariable adjusted Poisson models were used to estimate the relation between organochlorine exposure and sperm disomy outcomes.

    Results: Adult p,p’-DDE and total PCB serum concentrations were each associated with significantly increased rates of XX18, XY18 and total disomy. Age 14 p,p’-DDE and PCB concentrations were each associated with significantly increased rates of XX, XY and total disomy at adult age. Associations between cord blood concentrations of p,p’-DDE and PCBs and sperm disomy at adult age were not consistently significant.

    Conclusions: Organochlorine exposures measured at age 14 and in adulthood were associated with sperm disomy in this sample of high exposure men, suggesting the impacts of persistent pollutants on testicular maturation and function need deeper investigation.

  • This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.

    Citation: Perry MJ, Young HA, Grandjean P, Halling J, Petersen MS, Martenies SE, Karimi P, Weihe P. Sperm Aneuploidy in Faroese Men with Lifetime Exposure to Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Pollutants. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1509779

    Received: 2 February 2015
    Accepted: 9 October 2015
    Advance Publication: 4 November 2015

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