Indexed on: 23 Dec '11Published on: 23 Dec '11Published in: Environmental health perspectives
Chromosomal abnormalities contribute substantially to reproductive problems, but the role of environmental risk factors has received little attention.We evaluated the association of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) exposures with sperm sex-chromosome disomy.We conducted a cross-sectional study of 192 men from subfertile couples. We used multiprobe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosomes X, Y, and 18 to determine XX, YY, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy in sperm nuclei. Serum was analyzed for concentrations of 57 PCB congeners and p,p'-DDE. Poisson regression models were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for disomy by exposure quartiles, controlling for demographic characteristics and semen parameters.The median percent disomy was 0.3 for XX and YY, 0.9 for XY, and 1.6 for total sex-chromosome disomy. We observed a significant trend of increasing IRRs for increasing quartiles of p,p'-DDE in XX, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy, and a significant trend of increasing IRRs for increasing quartiles of PCBs for XY and total sex-chromosome disomy; however, there was a significant inverse association for XX disomy.Our findings suggest that exposure to p,p'-DDE may be associated with increased rates of XX, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy, whereas exposure to PCBs may be associated with increased rates of YY, XY, and total sex-chromosome disomy. In addition, we observed an inverse association between increased exposure to PCBs and XX disomy. Further work is needed to confirm these findings.