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Many chemicals introduced into the environment by humans adversely affect embryonic development and the functioning of the male reproductive system. It has been hypothesized that these developmental alterations are due to the endocrine-disruptive effects of various environmental contaminants. The endocrine system exhibits an organizational effect on the(More)
Transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes by DNA methylation occurs in cancer cell lines and in human tumors. This has led to the pursuit of DNA methyltransferase inhibition as a drug target. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine [5-aza-CdR (decitabine)], a potent inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase, is a drug currently in clinical trials for the treatment of(More)
This study was carried out to investigate the role of free intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in the action of GH-releasing factor (GRF) by determining whether GRF causes and increase in [Ca2+]i and whether this increase results from changes in Ca2+ influx/efflux and/or mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stores. We used a purified preparation of normal rat(More)
Steroids are essential for successful reproduction in all vertebrate species. Over the last several decades, extensive research has indicated that exposure to various environmental pollutants can disrupt steroidogenesis and steroid signaling. Although steroidogenesis is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, it is also modified by various paracrine(More)
The overall contribution of environmental exposures to infertility is unknown, but a growing scientific database suggests that exposure to various environmental factors, both in utero and neonatally, could dramatically affect adult fertility. Studies of various contaminant-exposed wildlife populations suggest that multiple mechanisms contribute to changes(More)
Abnormal reproductive development in males has been linked to environmental contaminant exposure in a wide variety of vertebrates. These include humans, rodent models, and a large number of comparative wildlife species. In human males, abnormal reproductive development can manifest as a suite of symptoms, described collectively as testicular dysgenesis(More)
American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) ovary development is incomplete at hatching. During the months following hatching, the cortical processes of oogenesis started in ovo continues and folliculogenesis is initiated. Additionally, the medullary region of the gonad undergoes dramatic restructuring. We describe alligator ovarian histology at(More)
Developing organisms interpret and integrate environmental signals to produce adaptive phenotypes that are prospectively suited for probable demands in later life. This plasticity can be disrupted when embryos are impacted by exogenous contaminants, such as environmental pollutants, producing potentially deleterious and long-lasting mismatches between(More)
Gonadal steroid hormone receptors play a vital role in transforming ligand signals into gene expression. We have shown previously that gonads from wild-caught juvenile alligators express greater levels of estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) than estrogen receptor 2 (ESR2). Furthermore, sexually dimorphic ESR2 mRNA expression (female > male) observed in animals from(More)
We investigated ovary and testis development of Alligator mississippiensis during the first 5 months posthatch. To better describe follicle assembly and seminiferous cord development, we used histochemical techniques to detect carbohydrate-rich extracellular matrix components in 1-week, 1-month, 3-month, and 5-month-old gonads. We found profound(More)