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CHAPTER 20

Reproductive System

STACY BRANCH

20.1INTRODUCTION

What is reproductive toxicity? Reproductive toxicity refers to any adverse effect on any aspect of male or female sexual structure, function, and lactation including effects on the reproductive potential and viability of the offspring. This concept may also include the following:

Organ toxicity. Can interfere with normal system function.

Teratogenicity. Ability to cause dysmorphogenesis in the developing fetus.Behavioral teratogenicity. Ability to adversely affect the mental development of

the fetus.

Developmental toxicity. Includes both teratogenicity terms above and abnormal postnatal development.

This chapter discusses both male and female reproductive toxicity and provides an overview of reproductive physiology.

20.2MALE REPRODUCTIVE PHYSIOLOGY

The anterior pituitary is stimulated by the hypothalamus (via the gonadotrophic hormone releasing hormone) to release gonadotrophic hormones (leutenizing hormone—LH;and follicle stimulatinghormone—FSH).In addition to LH and FSH, prolactin is released by the anterior pituitary. The target of LH and FSH in the male is the testis. While LH stimulates steroidogenesis, FSH has its primary effects on the sertoli cells. The role of prolactin (which is inhibited by dopamine) is to modulate the effects of LH in the testicular tissue. Critical points within thehypothalamic–pituitary–gonadalaxis (Figure 20.1) may be susceptible to alterations by xenobiotics, leading to altered reproductive function and pathology.

A Textbook of Modern Toxicology, Third Edition, edited by Ernest Hodgson

ISBN 0-471-26508-XCopyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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