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Monash scientists uncover a new understanding of male puberty
Date:3/14/2011

g Sertoli cell compared to the mature, adult cell". The research identified that it is the amount of SMAD3 present that controls Sertoli cell activity prior to, or after, puberty. When SMAD3 levels are reduced, sperm develop earlier. When SMAD3 is absent, Sertoli cells take longer to respond to testosterone.

Previous research on puberty suggests that pubertal development is delayed in boys exposed to endocrine disrupting compounds, chemicals which impair cell responses to hormones. These chemicals are widely used in industry and in the manufacture of everyday items, such as plastics, cosmetics, paints and detergents.

Dr Itman is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Project Grant to investigate how these hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment affect the growth and maturation of Sertoli cells around puberty, including changes to SMAD3 levels and activity.

"We hope that through our research, we will inform decisions about the influence of chemicals in our environment on the timing of puberty in boys and on the fertility of adult men" Dr Itman said.


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Contact: Karen Sutherland
karen.sutherland@monash.edu
61-399-034-844
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

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