0974-4150 (Online)
0974-4169 (Print)

Author(s): A. Vasanth, Santhosh Gopi, Sushmitha Akkaiah


DOI: 10.52711/0974-4150.2024.00012   

Address: A. Vasanth*, Santhosh Gopi, Sushmitha Akkaiah
Student, 5th Year Pharm. D, Arulmigu Kalasalingam College of Pharmacy, Krishnankoil, Virudhunagar - 626126, Tamilnadu, India.
*Corresponding Author

Published In:   Volume - 17,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2024

Organochlorines are a group of chlorinated hydrocarbons widely used as pesticides in many countries. Various studies conducted by researchers have revealed that these chemicals can potentially cause male reproductive disorders. In today's world, both humans and wildlife are constantly exposed to numerous chemical residues present in the air, food, and water. Organochlorines, which consist of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine, are pervasive pollutants encompassing a range of compounds, including chlorinated insecticides, solvents, and fumigants used worldwide. Exposure to organochlorine chemicals has raised concerns due to their association with various detrimental effects on human health. One particular concern is their potential implication in reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption, as these chemicals persist in the environment. Organochlorines have the ability to interfere with normal hormonal function in both animals and humans. Laboratory animals and wildlife exposed to these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have exhibited reproductive abnormalities such as the feminization of males, abnormal sexual behavior, birth defects, altered sex ratios, decreased sperm production, reduced testicular size, infertility, and thyroid dysfunction. This review focuses on the adverse effects of different organochlorine chemicals on the male reproductive system, emphasizing the need for limited use of organochlorines to enhance the quality of life and promote human welfare.

Cite this article:
A. Vasanth, Santhosh Gopi, Sushmitha Akkaiah. A Review of Organochlorine-induced Male Reproductive Disorders. Asian Journal of Research in Chemistry. 2024; 17(1):59-6. doi: 10.52711/0974-4150.2024.00012

A. Vasanth, Santhosh Gopi, Sushmitha Akkaiah. A Review of Organochlorine-induced Male Reproductive Disorders. Asian Journal of Research in Chemistry. 2024; 17(1):59-6. doi: 10.52711/0974-4150.2024.00012   Available on:

1.    Aktar MW, Sengupta D, Chowdhury A. Impact of pesticides use in agriculture: their benefits and hazards. Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2009; 2(1): 1–12.
2.    Gupta PK. Pesticide exposure—Indian scene. Toxicology. 2004; 198: 83– 90.
3.    Jayaraj R, Megha P, Sreedev P. Organochlorine pesticides, their toxic effects on living organisms and their fate in the environment. Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2016; 9(3-4): 90.
4.    Lallas P. Reproductive Effects in Birds Exposed to Pesticides and Industrial Chemicals. The Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. American Journal of International Law. 2001; 95: 692–708.
5.    Varghese AC, du Plessis SS, Agarwal A. Male gamete survival at stake: causes and solutions. Reprod Biomed Online. 2008; 17(6):866-80.
6.    Bretveld RW, Thomas CM, Scheepers PT, et al. Pesticide exposure: the hormonal function of the female reproductive system disrupted? Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2006; 4: 30.
7.    Toft G. Persistent organochlorine pollutants and human reproductive health. Dan Med J. 2014; 61(11): B4967.
8.    Patterson DG, Jr., Wong LY, Turner WE, et al. Levels in the U.S. population of those persistent organic pollutants (2003-2004) included in the Stockholm Convention or in other long range transboundary air pollution agreements. Environ Sci Technol. 2009;43(4):1211-8.
9.    Kelce WR, Stone CR, Laws SC, et al. Persistent DDT metabolite p,p'-DDE is a potent androgen receptor antagonist. Nature. 1995; 375(6532): 581-5.
10.    Bonefeld-Jorgensen EC, Andersen HR, Rasmussen TH, et al. Effect of highly bioaccumulated polychlorinated biphenyl congeners on estrogen and androgen receptor activity. Toxicology. 2001; 158(3): 141-53.
11.    Glynn AW, Wolk A, Aune M, et al. Serum concentrations of organochlorines in men: a search for markers of exposure. Science of the Total Environment. 2000; 263(1-3): 197-208.
12.    Gladen BC, Longnecker MP, Schecter AJ. Correlations among polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and furans in humans. Am J Ind Med 1999 Jan;35(1):15-20.
13.    ATSDR. Toxicological profile for polychlorinated biphenyls. 2000.
14.    Bolger R, Wiese TE, Ervin K, et al. Rapid screening of environmental chemicals for estrogen receptor binding capacity. Environ Health Perspect 1998; 106(9): 551-7.
15.    Sohoni P, Sumpter JP. Several environmental oestrogens grayare also anti-androgens. J Endocrinol. 1998;158(3):327-39.
16.    Gray LE, Jr., Wilson VS, Stoker T, et al. Adverse effects of environmental antiandrogens and androgens on reproductive development in mammals. Int J Androl. 2006; 29(1): 96-104.
17.    Aneck-Hahn NH, Schulenburg GW, Bornman MS, Farias P, de Jager C. Impaired semen quality associated with environmental DDT exposure in young men living in a malaria area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. J Androl. 2007; 28: 423–434. [PubMed: 17192596]
18.    De Jager C, Farias P, Barraza-Villarreal A, Avila MH, Ayotte P, Dewailly E, Dombrowski C, Rousseau F, Sanchez VD, Bailey JL. Reduced seminal parameters associated with environmental DDT exposure and p,p′-DDE concentrations in men in Chiapas, Mexico: a cross-sectional study. J Androl. 2006; 27: 16–27.  
19.    Dhooge W, van LN, Koppen G, Nelen V, Schoeters G, Vlietinck R, Kaufman JM, Comhaire F. Serum dioxin-like activity is associated with reproductive parameters in young men from the general Flemish population. Environ Health Perspect. 2006; 114: 1670–1676.  
20.    Jonsson BA, Richthoff J, Rylander L, Giwercman A, Hagmar L. Urinary phthalate metabolites and biomarkers of reproductive function in young men. Epidemiology. 2005; 16:487–493.
21.    Richthoff J, Rylander L, Jonsson BA, Akesson H, Hagmar L, Nilsson-Ehle P, Stridsberg M, Giwercman A. Serum levels of 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) in relation to markers of reproductive function in young males from the general Swedish population. Environ Health Perspect. 2003; 111:409–413.
22.    Rignell-Hydbom A, Rylander L, Giwercman A, Jonsson BA, Nilsson-Ehle P, Hagmar L. Exposure to CB-153 and p,p′-DDE and male reproductive function. Hum Reprod. 2004; 19:2066–2075
23.    Toft G, Rignell-Hydbom A, Tyrkiel E, Shvets M, Giwercman A, Lindh CH, Pedersen HS, Ludwicki JK, Lesovoy V, Hagmar L, Spano M, Manicardi GC, Bonefeld-Jorgensen EC, Thulstrup AM, Bonde JP. Semen quality and exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants. Epidemiology. 2006; 17: 450–458.  
24.    Charlier CJ, Foidart JM. Comparative study of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene in blood and semen of two young male populations: lack of relationship to infertility, but evidence of high exposure of the mothers. Reprod Toxicol. 2005; 20: 215–220.  
25.    Dallinga JW, Moonen EJ, Dumoulin JC, Evers JL, Geraedts JP, Kleinjans JC. Decreased human semen quality and organochlorine compounds in blood. Hum Reprod. 2002; 17:1973–1979.  
26.    Hauser R, Chen Z, Pothier L, Ryan L, Altshul L. The relationship between human semen parameters and environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and p,p′-DDE. Environ Health Perspect. 2003; 111: 1505–1511.  
27.    Pant N, Mathur N, Banerjee AK, Srivastava SP, Saxena DK. Correlation of chlorinated pesticides concentration in semen with seminal vesicle and prostatic markers. Reprod Toxicol. 2004; 19:209–214.
28.    Rozati R, Reddy PP, Reddanna P, Mujtaba R. Role of environmental estrogens in the deterioration of male factor fertility. Fertil Steril. 2002; 78:1187–1194.  
29.    Guo YL, Hsu PC, Hsu CC, Lambert GH. Semen quality after prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and dibenzofurans. Lancet. 2000; 356:1240–1241.  
30.    Mocarelli P, Gerthoux PM, Patterson DG Jr, Milani S, Limonta G, Bertona M, Signorini S, Tramacere P, Colombo L, Crespi C, Brambilla P, Sarto C, Carreri V, Sampson EJ, Turner WE, Needham LL. Dioxin exposure, from infancy through puberty, produces endocrine disruption and affects human semen quality. Environ Health Perspect. 2008; 116:70–77.  
31.    Shivanandappa T, Krishnakumari MK: Hexachlorocyclohexane-induced testicular dysfunction in rats. Acta Pharmacologica et Toxicologica (Copenh) 1983; 52: 12-17.
32.    Srinivasan K, Ramesh HP, Radhakrishnamurty R: Changes induced by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers in rat liver and testis. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 1988; 414: 531-539.
33.    Prasad AK, Pant N, Srivastava SC, Kumar R and Srivastava SP: Effect of dermal application of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) on male reproductive system of rat. Human & Experimental Toxicology. 1995; 14(6): 484-88.
34.    Kuriyama K, Kitamura T, Yokoi R, Hayashi M, Kobayashi K, Kuroda J, Tsujii H: Evaluation of testicular toxicity and sperm morphology in rats treated with methyl methanesulphonate (MMS). Journal of Reproduction and Development. 2005; 51: 657-667.
35.    Yuksel H, Karadas E, Keles H, Demirel HH: Effects of Hexachloro-cyclohexane (HCH-γ-Isomer, Lindane) Intoxication on the Proliferation and Apoptosis in Rat Testes. Acta Veterinaria Brno 2009; 78: 615-620.
36.    Joshi SC, Goyal R: Impact of lindane on reproductive function of male rat. Journal of Environment and Ecoplanning. 2004; 8(1): 47-52.
37.    Joshi SC, Goyal R, Chaudhary N, Jain S: Effect of lindane on fertility and biochemical markers of male rats. Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences 2006; 8(4): 755-759 .
38.    Chitra KC, Sujatha R, Latchoumycandane C, Mathur PP: Effect of lindane on antioxidant enzymes in epididymis and epididymal sperm of adult rats. Asian Journal of Andrology. 2001; 3: 205–8.
39.    Ronco AM, Valdes K, Marcus D, Llanos M: The mechanism for lindane-induced inhibition of steroidogenesis in cultured rat Leydig cells. Toxicology. 2001; 159: 99-106.
40.    Saradha B, Vaithinathan S, Mathur PP: Lindane alters the levels of HSP70 and clusterin in adult rat testis. Toxicology. 2008; 243: 116-123.
41.    Suwalsky M, Villena F, Marcus D, Ronco AM: Plasma absorption and ultrastructural changes of rat testicular cells induced by lindane. Human & Experimental Toxicology. 2000; 19: 529-533.
42.    Pagès N, Sauviat MP, Bouvet S, Goudey-Perrière F: Reproductive toxicity of lindane; Journal de la Société de Biologie 2002; 196(4): 325-38.
43.    Saradha B, Mathur PP: Induction of oxidative stress by lindane in adult male rats. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2006; 22: 90-96.
44.    Šimić B, Kmetič I, Murati T, Kniewald J: Effects of lindane on reproductive parameters in male rats. Veterinarski Arhiv. 2012; 82(2): 211-220.
45.    Dalsenter PR, Faqi AS, Webb J, Merker HJ, Chahoud I: Reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics of lindane in the male offspring of rats exposed during lactation. Human Experimental Toxicology. 1997; 16: 146-153.
46.    Dalsenter PR, Faqi AS, Webb J, Merker HJ, Chahoud I: Reproductive toxicity and tissue concentrations of lindane in adult male rats. Human Experimental Toxicology. 1996; 15: 406-410.
47.    Silva MH, Gammon D: An Assessment of the Developmental, Reproductive, and Neurotoxicity of Endosulfan. Birth Defects Research (Part B). 2009; 86: 1–28.
48.    Narayana K, Narayan P, D’Souza UJ: Is our drinking water a slow poison? Indian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2004; 58: 528-530.
49.    Chaudhary N, Joshi SC: Reproductive toxicity of endosulfan in male albino rats. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2003; 70: 285-289.
50.    Ali M, Mukul S, Gupta D, Singh AK, Kumar R, Nath A, and Singh JK, Kumar A: Endosulfan Exposure Leads to Infertility in Male Mice. Asian Journal of Experimental Biological Sciences. 2012; 3(1): 124–128.
51.    Amizadeh M, Saryazdi GA: Effects of Endosulfan on Human Health. Webmed Central Toxicology. 2011; 2(12): WMC002617.
52.    Sinha N, Adhikari N, Saxena DK: Effect of endosulfan during fetal gonadal differentiation on spermatogenesis in rats. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2001; 10: 29–32.
53.    Sinha N, Narayan R, Saxena DK: Effect of endosulfan on the testis of growing rats. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 1997; 58: 79–86.
54.    Esin KF: Biochemical evidence of free radical-induced lipid peroxidation for chronic toxicity of endosulfan and malathion in liver, kidney and gonadal tissues of wistar albino rats. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin. 2008; 17(9A): 1340–1343.
55.    Prasad AK, Pant N, Srivastava SC, Kumar R and Srivastava SP: Effect of dermal application of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) on male reproductive system of rat. Human & Experimental Toxicology. 1995; 14(6): 484-88.
56.    Samanta L, Sahoo A, Chainy GB: Age-related changes in rat testicular oxidative stress parameters by hexachloro-cyclohexane. Archives of Toxicology. 1999b; 73: 96-107.
57.    Samanta L, Roy A, Chainy GB: Changes in rat testicular antioxidant defence profile as a function of age and its impairment by hexachlorocyclohexane during critical stages of maturation. Andrologia. 1999a; 31: 83-90.
58.    Samanta L, Chainy GB: Response of testicular antioxidant enzymes to hexachlorocyclohexane is species specific. Asian Journal of Andrology. 2002; 4(3): 191-4.
59.    Pius J, Shivanandappa T, Krishnakumari MK: Protective role of vitamin A in male reproductive toxicity of hexachlorocy-clohexane (HCH) in the rat. Reproductive Toxicology 1990; 4: 325-30.
60.    Price TM, Murphy SK, Younglai EV: Perspectives: the possible influence of assisted reproductive technologies on transgenerational reproductive effects of environmental endocrine disruptors. Toxicological Sciences. 2007; 96: 218-226.
61.    Lafuente A, Cabaleiro T, Cano P, Esquifino AI: Toxic effects of methoxychlor on the episodic prolactin secretory pattern: Possible mediated effects of nitric oxide production. Journal of Circadian Rhythms. 2006; 4: 3.
62.    Cummings AM: Methoxychlor as a model for environmental estrogens. Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 1997; 27: 367–379.
63.    Gaido KW, Maness SC, McDonnell DP, Dehal SS, Kupfer D, Safe S: Interaction of methoxychlor and related compounds with estrogen receptor alpha and beta, and androgen receptor: structure-activity studies. Molecular Pharmacology. 2000; 58: 852–858.
64.    Latchoumycandane C, Mathur PP: Induction of oxidative stress in the rat testis after short-term exposure to the organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor. Archives of Toxicology. 2002; 76: 692–698.
65.    Latchoumycandane C, Chitra KC, Mathur PP: The effect of methoxychlor on the epididymal antioxidant system of adult rats. Reproductive Toxicology. 2002; 16: 161–172.
66.    Murono EP, Derk RC, Akgul Y: In vivo exposure of young adult male rats to methoxychlor reduces serum testosterone levels and ex vivo Leydig cell testosterone formation and cholesterol side-chain cleavage activity. Reproductive Toxicology. 2006; 21: 148–153.
67.    Johnson L, Staub C, Silge RL, Harris MW, Chapin RE: The pesticide methoxychlor given orally during the perinatal/juvenile period, reduced the spermatogenic potential of males as adults by reducing their Sertoli cell number. Reproduction, Nutrition and Development. 2002; 42(6): 573-580.
68.    Vaithinathan S, Saradha B, Mathur PP: Transient inhibitory effect of methoxychlor on testicular steroidogenesis in rat: an in vivo study. Archives of Toxicology. 2008; 82: 833–839.
69.    Akingbemi BT, Ge RS, Klinefelter GR, Gunsalus G L, Hardy MP: A metabolite of methoxychlor, 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichlorethane, reduces testeosterone biosynthesis in rat Leydig cells through suppression of steady-state messenger ribonucleic acid levels of the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme. Biology of Reproduction. 2000; 65: 571–578.
70.    Gangadharan B, Murugan MA, Mathur PP: Effect of methoxychlor on antioxidant system of goat epididymal sperm in vitro. Asian Journal of Andrology. 2001; 3: 285–8.
71.    Hu GX, Zhao B, Chu Y, Li XH, Akingbemi BT, Zheng ZQ, Ge RS: Effects of methoxychlor and 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1, 1-trichloroethane on 3b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 activities in human and rat testes. International Journal of Andrology. 2010; 33: 1–7.
72.    Ezemonye LIN, Tongo I: Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Atrazine to Amphibian Larvae. Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences. 2009; 2(1): 29–36.
73.    Kniewald J, Jakominic M, Tomljenovic A, Simic B, Romac P, Vranesic D, Kniewald Z: Disorders of male rat reproductive tract under the influence of atrazine. Journal of Applied Toxicology. 2000; 20(1): 61-68.
74.    Swan SH: Semen quality in fertile US men in relation to geographical area and pesticide exposure. International Journal of Andrology 2006; 29: 62-68.
75.    Pogrmic K, Fa S, Dakic V, Kaisarevic S, Kovacevic R: Atrazine oral exposure of peripubertal male rats downregulates steroidogenesis gene expression in Leydig cells. Toxicological Sciences. 2009; 111(1): 189-97.
76.    Luangpirom A, Tussaneeporn J: Effect of Atrazine on Spermatogenesis of Mice (Mus musculus Linn.). KKU Science Journal 2008; 36: 44-50.
77.    Dehkhargani SF, Malekinejad H, Shahrooz R, Sarkhanloo RA: Detrimental Effect of Atrazine on Testicular Tissue and Sperm quality: Implication for Oxidative stress and Hormonal Alterations. Iranian Journal of Toxicology. 2011; 5(12 and 13): 426-435.
78.    Sharma RK, Chauhan PK, Fulia A: Histopathological Effects Induced by Single Dose of Atrazine in Spermatids of Goat in vitro. Research Journal of Veterinary Sciences. 2012; 5: 59-68
79.    Mokhtari M, Sharifi E, Soltani A: The Effects of Atrazine on Levels of Pituitary–testis Hormones in Adult Male Rat. Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences. 2010; 2(2): 53 – 60.
80.    Trentacoste SV, Friedmann AS, Youker RT, Breckenridge CB, Zirkin BR: Atrazine effects on testosterone levels and androgen-dependent reproductive organs in peripubertal male rats. Journal of Andrology. 2001; 22(1): 142-8.
81.    Ellenhorn MJ, Schanwold S, Ordog G, Wesserbeger J: Diagnosis and treatment of human poisoning; 2nd ed., William & Wilkans, 1997; pp. 1614-1629.
82.    Jadaramkunti UC, Kaliwal BB: Effect of dicofol formulation on estrous cycle and follicular dynamics in albino rats. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. 1999; 1014: 305-314
83.    Jadaramkunti UC, Kaliwal BB: Dicofol formulation induced toxicity on tests and accessory reproductive organs in albino rats. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2002; 69: 741-748.
84.    Sinha N, Narayan R, Shanker R, Saxena DK: Endosulfan-induced biochemical changes in the testis of rats. Veterinary and Human Toxicology. 1995; 37(6): 547-549.
85.    El-Kashoury AA, Salama AF, Selim AI, Mohamed RA: Chronic Exposure of Dicofol Promotes Reproductive Toxicity In Male Rats. Life Science Journal. 2010; 7(3): 5-19.
86.    Williams GM, Iatropoulos: Principles of testing for carcinogenic activity; In: Hayes AW (ed) Principles and methods of toxicology, Raven Press, New York. 2001; 959–1000.
87.    Queiroz EKR, Waissmann W: Occupational exposure and effects on the male reproductive system. Cadernos de Saúde Pública 2006; 22(3): 485-493.
88.    Eskenazi B, Kimmel G: Workshop on perinatal exposure to dioxin-like compounds. II. Reproductive effects. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1995; 103:143-5.
89.    Faqi AS, Dalsenter PR, Ligensa A, Merker HJ, Chahoud I: Effect on male fertility and testis concentrations of low dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in offspring of rats exposed during pregnancy and lactation. Teratology. 1997; 56: 403.
90.    Bell R, Sally C, Ming Q, Alwyn F, Paul MF, Tao J, George L, Alan MN, Brian G, Rose L, Tran K, Shaun W: Toxicity of 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in the developing male Wistar (han) rat. I: no decrease in epididymal sperm count after a single acute dose. Toxicological Sciences. 2007; 99: 214–223.
91.    Bush B, Lambert G, Tarbell A: Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (DDE) exposure among Native American men from contaminated Great Lakes fish and wildlife. Toxicology and Industrial Health. 1996; 12: 361-8.
92.    Sharma A, Sharma P, Sharma P and Joshi SC: A Review on Organochlorine Pesticides and Reproductive Toxicity in Males. Int J Pharm Sci Res. 2015; 6(8): 3123-38.doi: 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.6(8).3123-38.

Recomonded Articles:

Author(s): U.S. Pujeri, S.C. Hiremath, A.S. Pujari, K.G. Pujari, M.I. Kumbar, M.S. Yadawe

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): U.S. Pujeri, S.C. Hiremath, A.S. Pujari, K.G. Pujari, M.I. Kumbar, M.S. Yadawe

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): A. Vasanth, Santhosh Gopi, Sushmitha Akkaiah

DOI: 10.52711/0974-4150.2024.00012         Access: Closed Access Read More

Asian Journal of Research in Chemistry (AJRC) is an international, peer-reviewed journal devoted to pure and applied chemistry..... Read more >>>

RNI: Not Available                     
DOI: 10.5958/0974-4150 

Popular Articles

Recent Articles