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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341637

Research Project: Impact of Early Dietary Factors on Child Development and Health

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Male testicular development is affected by estrogens but not altered in neonatal piglets receiving soy infant formula

Author
item MERCER, K - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item Chen, Celine
item HENNINGS, L - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item SHARMA, N - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item Dawson, Harry
item YERUVA, L - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item RONIS, MJJ - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item Badger, Thomas

Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2017
Publication Date: 4/1/2017
Citation: Mercer, K.E., Chen, C.T., Hennings, L., Sharma, N., Dawson, H.D., Yeruva, L., Ronis, M., Badger, T.M. 2017. Male testicular development is affected by estrogens but not altered in neonatal piglets receiving soy infant formula. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference. 31:792.5.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soy infant formula contains many phytochemicals, including phytoestrogens, which are structurally similar to estradiol (E2). As a result of their potentially estrogenic properties, soy infant formulas have been the subject of concern with regards to reproductive toxicity. To address these concerns regarding male reproductive development, we fed male piglets a soy-based infant formula, a dairy milk-based infant formula, milk formula supplemented with E2, or milk formula supplemented with putative estrogenic soy phytonutrient genistein (GEN), in comparison with piglets receiving sow's breast milk from postnatal day 2-21. In the E2 supplemented group, serum testosterone and testicular weight were significantly reduced compared to the milk formula-fed and sow's milk controls. Testis tubule area, Sertoli cell and germ cell numbers were also increased in the E2 supplemented group compared to milk formula controls, P<0.05. When compared to the sow's milk control, RNAseq analysis in testes showed that E2 supplemented milk formula altered expression of 2012 testicular genes (+/1.5 fold, P<0.100). Functional annotation analysis indicated up-regulation of several pathways in the E2 supplemented group, including canonical Wnt signaling, cell differentiation and migration, angiogenesis and spermatogenesis. E2 also down-regulated cholesterol and androgen synthesis pathways. Real-time RT-PCR confirmed the decrease in steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (Star) mRNA in the E2 supplemented group, suggesting a potential mechanism for the observed decrease in serum testosterone in this diet group. In contrast, GEN supplementation of milk formula altered 104 genes, soy formula 49 genes, and the pathways impacted had no clear links to testes function or sex organ development. These data show that early infant diet exposure to phytoestrogens in soy-based infant formula are not estrogenic in the male reproductive system.