PG18: Early Life Toxicant Exposures And Adult Reproductive Disorders: A Potential Role For Nutritional Intervention In Both Sexes

Date:October 13, 2013

Time:8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Location:Room 209 - Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Kevin G. Osteen, Ph.D., H.C.L.D. (Chair), Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Kaylon L. Bruner-Tran, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University Meidcal Center

Antoni J. Duleba, M.D., University of California, San Diego


Developed in Cooperation with the Environment and Reproduction Special Interest Group and the Nutrition Special Interest Group

Medical knowledge

Fetal programming is a normal component of developmental processes leading to appropriate organ system function in adults. However, early life programming processes can be negatively impacted by various environmental factors, including maternal stress, poor nutrition and exposure to various toxicants. Emerging evidence implies that disruption of fetal and neonatal programming may significantly affect an individual’s risk of adult disease, including reproductive failure. This concept, known as Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), requires clinical providers of reproductive medicine to examine the potential role of fetal/neonatal programming on adult pathology affecting fertility.

This live course will present experimental evidence and clinical observations linking developmental toxicant exposure to reproductive disorders. Additionally, the faculty will discuss the significance of epigenetic programming on the heritability of toxicant-associated disorders and will describe the influence of nutrition on reducing the impact of a previous toxicant exposure. Finally, this course will present the emerging evidence that environmental toxicant exposure of animals and humans impacts adult reproductive function for multiple generations and will provide specific recommendations for providers to optimize patient care in fertility clinics. 

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the evidence implicating environmental toxicant exposure at different stages of life to disruption of adult reproductive tract function and development of disease.
  2. List specific toxicants, their routes of exposure and mechanisms of action which may negatively impact reproductive processes in humans.
  3. Describe the DOHaD hypothesis and its relevance to reproductive medicine.
  4. Discuss how nutrition may modify the negative impact of a prior toxicant exposure and improve reproductive outcomes.
  5. Develop improved strategies for ascertaining a couple’s exposure history relevant to infertility treatment.



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