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Relationship: 2125


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

Reduction, Testosterone synthesis in Leydig cells leads to Decrease, testosterone levels

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes.Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
PPARα activation in utero leading to impaired fertility in males adjacent High Elise Grignard (send email) Open for citation & comment Under Review
PPARα activation leading to impaired fertility in adult male rodents adjacent High Elise Grignard (send email) Not under active development Under Development
Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR) Mediated Adult Leydig Cell Dysfunction Leading to Decreased Male Fertility adjacent Undefined (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
rat Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
human Homo sapiens High NCBI
mice Mus sp. Moderate NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

Impairment of testosterone production in testes directly impacts on testosterone levels.

Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER. For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help
Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help

Within the testes, steroid synthesis takes place within the mitochondria of Leydig cells. Testosterone production by Leydig cells is primarily under the control of LH. LH indirectly stimulates the transfer of cholesterol into the mitochondrial matrix to cholesterol side-chain cleavage cytochrome P450 (P450scc, CYP11A), which converts cholesterol to pregnenolone. Pregnenolone diffuses to the smooth endoplasmic reticulum where it is further metabolized to testosterone via the actions of 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase Δ5-Δ4-isomerase (3β-HSD), 17α-hydroxylase/C17-20 lyase (P450c17, CYP17), and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type III (17HSD3). For review see (Payne & Hales, 2013). Therefore, inhibition or impairment of the testosterone production directly impacts on the levels of testosterone.

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help
Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

See Table 1.


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help

Akingbemi, B. T. 2001. “Modulation of Rat Leydig Cell Steroidogenic Function by Di(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate.” Biology of Reproduction 65 (4) (October 1): 1252–1259. doi:10.1095/biolreprod65.4.1252.

Borch, Julie, Ole Ladefoged, Ulla Hass, and Anne Marie Vinggaard. 2004. “Steroidogenesis in Fetal Male Rats Is Reduced by DEHP and DINP, but Endocrine Effects of DEHP Are Not Modulated by DEHA in Fetal, Prepubertal and Adult Male Rats.” Reproductive Toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) 18 (1): 53–61. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2003.10.011.

Borch, Julie, Stine Broeng Metzdorff, Anne Marie Vinggaard, Leon Brokken, and Majken Dalgaard. 2006. “Mechanisms Underlying the Anti-Androgenic Effects of Diethylhexyl Phthalate in Fetal Rat Testis.” Toxicology 223 (1-2) (June 1): 144–55. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2006.03.015.

Culty, Martine, Raphael Thuillier, Wenping Li, Yan Wang, Daniel B Martinez-Arguelles, Carolina Gesteira Benjamin, Kostantinos M Triantafilou, Barry R Zirkin, and Vassilios Papadopoulos. 2008. “In Utero Exposure to Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate Exerts Both Short-Term and Long-Lasting Suppressive Effects on Testosterone Production in the Rat.” Biology of Reproduction 78 (6) (June): 1018–28. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.107.065649.

Hannas, Bethany R, Christy S Lambright, Johnathan Furr, Nicola Evans, Paul M D Foster, Earl L Gray, and Vickie S Wilson. 2012. “Genomic Biomarkers of Phthalate-Induced Male Reproductive Developmental Toxicity: A Targeted RT-PCR Array Approach for Defining Relative Potency.” Toxicological Sciences : An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 125 (2) (February): 544–57. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfr315.

Parks, L. G. 2000. “The Plasticizer Diethylhexyl Phthalate Induces Malformations by Decreasing Fetal Testosterone Synthesis during Sexual Differentiation in the Male Rat.” Toxicological Sciences 58 (2) (December 1): 339–349. doi:10.1093/toxsci/58.2.339.

Shultz, V. D. 2001. “Altered Gene Profiles in Fetal Rat Testes after in Utero Exposure to Di(n-Butyl) Phthalate.” Toxicological Sciences 64 (2) (December 1): 233–242. doi:10.1093/toxsci/64.2.233.

Wilson, Vickie S., Christy Lambright, Johnathan Furr, Joseph Ostby, Carmen Wood, Gary Held, and L.Earl Gray. 2004. “Phthalate Ester-Induced Gubernacular Lesions Are Associated with Reduced insl3 Gene Expression in the Fetal Rat Testis.” Toxicology Letters 146 (3) (February): 207–215. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2003.09.012.