During sexual differentiation and gonadal development in utero or in ovo, androgenic tissues develop, in part, under the control of testosterone (Viger et al. 2005). Reduction of circulating testosterone during this crucial time of development can result in malformed reproductive tracts in males. Exposure to drugs (e.g., statins) or other compounds may cause male reproductive tract abnormalities by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of cholesteron, the precursor of testosterone.
This AOP was developed primarily from one study of exposure of rats in utero to simvastatin (as well as a phthalate ester; Beverley et al., 2015) and biological plausibility. It currently should be considered putative and untested.
Beverly, B. E. J., et al. (2014). "Simvastatin and Dipentyl Phthalate Lower Ex Vivo Testicular Testosterone Production and Exhibit Additive Effects on Testicular Testosterone and Gene Expression Via Distinct Mechanistic Pathways in the Fetal Rat." Toxicological Sciences.