Exposure to a number of metals can affect neuroendocrine and thyroid signaling, which can result in adverse effects on development, behavior, metabolism, reproduction, and other functions. The present study assessed the relationship between metal concentrations in blood and serum prolactin (PRL) and thyrotropin (TSH) levels, markers of dopaminergic, and thyroid function, respectively, among men participating in a study of environmental influences on male reproductive health. Blood samples from 219 men were analyzed for concentrations of 11 metals and serum levels of PRL and TSH. In multiple linear regression models adjusted for age, BMI and smoking, PRL was inversely associated with arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc, but positively associated with chromium. Several of these associations (Cd, Pb, Mo) are consistent with limited studies in humans or animals, and a number of the relationships (Cr, Cu, Pb, Mo) remained when additionally considering multiple metals in the model. Lead and copper were associated with non-monotonic decrease in TSH, while arsenic was associated with a dose-dependent increase in TSH. For arsenic these findings were consistent with recent experimental studies where arsenic inhibited enzymes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis and signaling. More research is needed for a better understanding of the role of metals in neuroendocrine and thyroid function and related health implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)