Environmental Factors-Induced Oxidative Stress: Hormonal and Molecular Pathway Disruptions in Hypogonadism and Erectile Dysfunction
Hypogonadism is an endocrine disorder characterized by inadequate serum testosterone production by the Leydig cells of the testis. It is triggered by alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another common disorder in men that involves an alteration in erectile response–organic, relational, or psychological. The incidence of hypogonadism and ED is common in men aged over 40 years. Hypogonadism (including late-onset hypogonadism) and ED may be linked to several environmental factors-induced oxidative stresses. The factors mainly include exposure to pesticides, radiation, air pollution, heavy metals and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These environmental risk factors may induce oxidative stress and lead to hormonal dysfunctions. To better understand the subject, the study used many keywords, including “hypogonadism”, “late-onset hypogonadism”, “testosterone”, “erectile dysfunction”, “reactive oxygen species”, “oxidative stress”, and “environmental pollution” in major online databases, such as SCOPUS and PUBMED to extract relevant scientific information. Based on these parameters, this review summarizes a comprehensive insight into the important environmental issues that may have a direct or indirect association with hypogonadism and ED in men. The study concludes that environmental factors-induced oxidative stress may cause infertility in men. The hypothesis and outcomes were reviewed critically, and the mechanistic approaches are applied through oxidant-sensitive pathways. This study also provides recommendations on future therapeutic interventions and protective measures against such adverse environmental factors-induced hypogonadism and ED.
Proper functioning of the HPG axis is crucial for reproductive wellbeing. It is regulated by a complex interplay of neural, hormonal and metabolic signals, which may be disrupted by age-related hormone deficiency and environmental toxicants, including pesticides, radiations, air pollutants and plastic-originated agents and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals induced oxidative stress . These disturbances may lead to impaired sexual potency, eventually causing disruption of psychological health in affected males. These environmental issues that may remain cryptic at times may become major mediators in the etiological context of LOH . In conclusion, the present review attempts to identify the important environmental issues that may have a direct or indirect association with clinical hypogonadism and ED in men. The review also aims to incorporate the important environmental factors, such as pesticides, radiations, air pollution, plastic-originated agents, and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals, into the routine workup algorithm of clinicians to manage such patients, who may benefit.