Effects and Mechanisms of Environmental Toxicants on Germ Cells, Gonads, Embryos and Stem Cells —Series 2

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Stem Cells".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 664

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Lazzaro Spallanzani", University of Pavia-Via A. Ferrata, 9-27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: mammalian spermatogenesis and oogenesis; meiosis; 3D tissue imaging; embryonic stem cells
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Lazzaro Spallanzani", University of Pavia, Via A. Ferrata, 9-27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: ovary; oocyte maturation; oocyte developmental competence; folliculogenesis; preimplantation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
IVIRMA Global Research Alliance, GENERA, Clinica Valle Giulia, Via G. De Notaris, 1F, 00197 Rome, Italy
Interests: folliculogenesis; oocyte and embryo developmental competence; in vitro fertilization; human fertility; preimplantation genetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Lazzaro Spallanzani", University of Pavia, Via A. Ferrata, 9-27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: mammalian ovary; folliculogenesis; oocyte maturation and developmental competence; 3D imaging and modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is the second edition of Effects and Mechanisms of Endocrine Disruptors on Germ Cells, Gonads and Embryos whose first edition has published 10 papers.

Here, we are broadening the focus of the first edition from endocrine disruptors alone to all toxic agents released into the environment by human activities, i.e., environmental toxicants (ETs), as they contribute significantly to the pathophysiology of several human diseases. In the present issue, we also include stem cells and derived in vitro culture systems as they represent the essential platforms for understanding the mechanisms underlying ET-induced alterations. For these reasons, the title of this new edition is 'Effects and mechanisms of Environmental Toxicants on Germ Cells, Gonads, Embryos and Stem Cells'.

From conception to senescence, living organisms are inescapably exposed to      industrial or naturally produced ETs, which, by interfering with hormonal and metabolic processes, may cause the short- or long-term alterations in the development and homeostasis of tissues and organs.

In this context, a wealth of experimental and epidemiological studies demonstrated the reproductive defects in both males and females, leading to infertility. ETs have genotoxic effects and impair gene expression through epigenetic modifications (i.e., the methylation of CpG sites, histone modifications and the production of non-coding RNA). Besides the direct effects on exposed organisms, the trans-generational impairment of the reproductive ability in both sexes has been reported when the offspring was exposed to E

With this Special Issue, we aim to provide an important resource for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the ETs’ observed effects on vertebrate germ cells, gonads, gametes, embryos and steroidogenesis.

We welcome original research articles and reviews at the molecular, cellular and tissue hierarchical levels, describing the effects of ETs on primordial germ cells, fetal gonads, ovarian and testis functions, folliculogenesis and spermatogenesis, oocyte and sperm quality, embryonic development either in vivo or in vitro and steroidogenesis. Furthermore, we welcome articles describing the effects of ETs in experimental models using cell lines, stem cells or organoids.

We look forward to your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Silvia Garagna
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Zuccotti
Dr. Danilo Cimadomo
Dr. Giulia Fiorentino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cells is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmental toxicants
  • gonadal steroid hormones
  • ovary, folliculogenesis, oogenesis and oocyte
  • testis, spermatogenesis and sperm
  • embryo development
  • epigenetics
  • omics
  • cells lines and stem cells
  • embryoid bodies, gastruloids and organoids
  • 3D cell culture and imaging

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

18 pages, 3690 KiB  
Article
Higher Concentrations of Essential Trace Elements in Women Undergoing IVF May Be Associated with Poor Reproductive Outcomes Following Single Euploid Embryo Transfer
by Roberto Gonzalez-Martin, Andrea Palomar, Silvia Perez-Deben, Stefania Salsano, Alicia Quiñonero, Laura Caracena, Rocio Fernandez-Saavedra, Rodolfo Fernandez-Martinez, Estefania Conde-Vilda, Alberto J. Quejido, Juan Giles, Carmen Vidal, Jose Bellver and Francisco Dominguez
Cells 2024, 13(10), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100839 - 15 May 2024
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Abstract
Essential trace elements are micronutrients whose deficiency has been associated with altered fertility and/or adverse pregnancy outcomes, while surplus may be toxic. The concentrations of eight essential trace elements were measured using inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and assessed with respect to clinical [...] Read more.
Essential trace elements are micronutrients whose deficiency has been associated with altered fertility and/or adverse pregnancy outcomes, while surplus may be toxic. The concentrations of eight essential trace elements were measured using inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and assessed with respect to clinical in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes in a population of 51 women undergoing IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), pre-implantation genetic screening for aneuploidy (PGT-A), and single frozen euploid embryo transfer (SET/FET). Specifically, copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), molybdenum, selenium, lithium, iron, chromium, and manganese were quantified in follicular fluid and whole blood collected the day of vaginal oocyte retrieval (VOR) and in urine collected the day of VOR and embryo transfer. We found that the whole blood Cu/Zn ratio was significantly associated with superior responses to ovarian stimulation. Conversely, the whole blood zinc and selenium concentrations were significantly associated with poor ovarian response outcomes. Higher levels of whole blood zinc and selenium, urinary selenium, lithium, and iron had significant negative associations with embryologic outcomes following IVF. Regarding clinical IVF outcomes, higher urinary molybdenum concentrations the day of VOR were associated with significantly lower odds of implantation and live birth, while higher urinary Cu/Mo ratios on the day of VOR were associated with significantly higher odds of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth. Our results suggest that essential trace element levels may directly influence the IVF outcomes of Spanish patients, with selenium and molybdenum exerting negative effects and copper-related ratios exerting positive effects. Additional studies are warranted to confirm these relationships in other human populations. Full article
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