The adverse effects of psychotropic drugs as an endocrine disrupting chemicals on the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation in male


LIFE SCIENCES, vol.253, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 253
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117704
  • Journal Name: LIFE SCIENCES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chimica, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: No


Adverse effects of drugs on male reproductive system can be categorized as pre-testicular, testicular, and post-testicular. Pre-testicular adverse effects disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, generally by interfering with endocrine function. It is known that the HPG axis has roles in the maintenance of spermatogenesis and sexual function. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which enters the hypophyseal portal system to stimulate the anterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary secretes gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which are vital for spermatogenesis, into the blood. The FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells for the production of regulatory molecules and nutrients needed for the maintenance of spermatogenesis, while the LH stimulates the Leydig cells to produce and secrete testosterone. Many neurotransmitters influence the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation, consequently the HPG axis, and can consequently affect spermatogenesis and sexual function. Psychotropic drugs including antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers that all commonly modulate dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, can affect male spermatogenesis and sexual function by impairment of the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation, act like endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Otherwise, studies have shown the relationship between decreased sperm quality and psychotropic drugs treatment. Therefore, it is important to investigate the adverse reproductive effects of psychotropic drugs which are frequently used during reproductive ages in males and to determine the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation axis on possible pathologies.