Peripubertal serum dioxin concentrations and subsequent sperm methylome profiles of young Russian adults

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology; Lee Lab; Department of Psychiatry, Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Environmental Public Health | Medical Toxicology | Pediatrics | Reproductive and Urinary Physiology


BACKGROUND: The association of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the peripubertal period with subsequent sperm DNA methylation is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the association of peripubertal serum 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) concentrations with whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) of sperm collected in young adulthood.

METHODS: The Russian Children's Study is a prospective cohort of 516 boys who were enrolled at 8-9 years of age and provided semen samples at 18-19 years of age. WGBS of sperm was conducted to identify differentially methylated regions (DMR) between highest (n=4) and lowest (n=4) peripubertal TCDD groups.

RESULTS: We found 52 DMRs that distinguished lowest and highest peripubertal serum TCDD concentrations. One of the top scoring networks, "Cellular Assembly and Organization, Cellular Function and Maintenance, Carbohydrate Metabolism", identified estrogen receptor alpha as its central regulator.

CONCLUSION: Findings from our limited sample size suggest that peripubertal environmental exposures are associated with sperm DNA methylation in young adults.


DNA methylation, Endocrine disrupting chemicals, Environmental effects, Peripuberty, Russian Children’s Study, Sperm methylome, Susceptible window of germ cell development, Whole genome bisulfite sequencing

DOI of Published Version



Reprod Toxicol. 2018 Mar 14;78:40-49. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.03.007. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.)


Full list of authors omitted for brevity. For full list see article.

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