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Event: 1758

Key Event Title

A descriptive phrase which defines a discrete biological change that can be measured. More help

Impaired, Spermatogenesis

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. More help
Impaired, Spermatogenesis
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Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. More help
Level of Biological Organization

Organ term

The location/biological environment in which the event takes place.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help
Organ term

Key Event Components

The KE, as defined by a set structured ontology terms consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 14 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling).Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signaling).  The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signaling by that receptor).  Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description.  To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons.  If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests.  Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help
Process Object Action
Abnormal spermatogenesis Mature sperm cell abnormal

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE.Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
PPARa Agonism Impairs Fish Reproduction KeyEvent Arthur Author (send email) Open for citation & comment
11βHSD inhibition, decreased population trajectory KeyEvent Agnes Aggy (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
Essential element imbalance leads to reproductive failure via oxidative stress KeyEvent Agnes Aggy (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite
Decreased COUP-TFII in Leydig cells leads to Impaired, Spermatogenesis AdverseOutcome Arthur Author (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite

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 KE.In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Vertebrates Vertebrates High NCBI

Life Stages

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KE. More help
Life stage Evidence
Adult, reproductively mature High

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KE. More help
Term Evidence
Male High

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. More help

Spermatogenesis is a multiphase process of cellular transformation that produces mature male gametes known as sperm for sexual reproduction (Xu et al., 2015). The process of spermatogenesis can be broken down into 3 phases: the mitotic proliferation of spermatogonia, meiosis, and post-meiotic differentiation(spermiogenesis) (Boulanger et al., 2015). Spermatogenesis can be impaired within these phases or due to external factors such as chemical exposures or the gonadal tissue environment. For example, zebrafish and fathead minnow exposed to flutamide, an antiandrogen, have shown signs of impaired spermatogenesis such as spermatocyte degradation(Jensen et al., 2004, Yin et al., 2017).

How It Is Measured or Detected

A description of the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements.These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA). Do not provide detailed protocols. More help

Impairment of spermatogenesis can be measured and detected in a multitude of ways. One example of this is qualitative histological assessments (Jensen et al., 2004). Through histology, sperm morphology can be examined and quantified through the number and stage of the sperm. Sperm morphology, overall quantity, and quantity within each stage can be ways to detect impaired spermatogenesis(Uhrin et al., 2000, Xie et al., 2020). Additionally, sperm quality can also be another assessment of impaired spermatogenesis such as sperm motility, velocity, ATP content, and lipid peroxidation(Gage et al., 2004, Xia et al., 2018, Chen et al., 2015). Impaired spermatogenesis can also be seen by measuring sperm density(Chen et al., 2015).

Domain of Applicability

A description of the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided).  More help

Taxonomic Applicability: The relevance for invertebrates has not been evaluated. 

Life Stage Applicability: Only applicable for sexually mature adults

Sex Applicability: Only applicable to males

In vitro data is used to support these domains.

Regulatory Significance of the Adverse Outcome

An AO is a specialised KE that represents the end (an adverse outcome of regulatory significance) of an AOP. More help


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

Boulanger, G., Cibois, M., Viet, J., Fostier, A., Deschamps, S., Pastezeur, S., Massart, C., Gschloessl, B., Gautier-Courteille, C., & Paillard, L. (2015). Hypogonadism Associated with Cyp19a1 (Aromatase) Posttranscriptional Upregulation in Celf1 Knockout Mice. Molecular and cellular biology, 35(18), 3244–3253.

Chen, J., Xiao, Y., Gai, Z., Li, R., Zhu, Z., Bai, C., Tanguay, R. L., Xu, X., Huang, C., & Dong, Q. (2015). Reproductive toxicity of low level bisphenol A exposures in a two-generation zebrafish assay: Evidence of male-specific effects. Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 169, 204–214.

Golshan, M. & S.M.H. Alvai (2019) “Androgen signaling in male fishes: Examples of anti-androgenic chemicals that cause reproductive disorders”, Theriogenology, Vol. 139, Elsevier, pp. 58-71. 

Jensen, K.M. et al. (2004) “Characterization of responses to the antiandrogen flutamide in a short-term reproduction assay with the fathead minnow”, Aquatic Toxicology, Vol. 70(2), Elsevier, pp. 99-110. 

Uhrin, P., Dewerchin, M., Hilpert, M., Chrenek, P., Schöfer, C., Zechmeister-Machhart, M., Krönke, G., Vales, A., Carmeliet, P., Binder, B. R., & Geiger, M. (2000). Disruption of the protein C inhibitor gene results in impaired spermatogenesis and male infertility. The Journal of clinical investigation, 106(12), 1531–1539.

Xia, H., Zhong, C., Wu, X., Chen, J., Tao, B., Xia, X., Shi, M., Zhu, Z., Trudeau, V. L., & Hu, W. (2018). Mettl3 Mutation Disrupts Gamete Maturation and Reduces Fertility in Zebrafish. Genetics, 208(2), 729–743.

Xie, H., Kang, Y., Wang, S., Zheng, P., Chen, Z., Roy, S., & Zhao, C. (2020). E2f5 is a versatile transcriptional activator required for spermatogenesis and multiciliated cell differentiation in zebrafish. PLoS genetics, 16(3), e1008655.

Xu, K., Wen, M., Duan, W., Ren, L., Hu, F., Xiao, J., Wang, J., Tao, M., Zhang, C., Wang, J., Zhou, Y., Zhang, Y., Liu, Y., & Liu, S. (2015). Comparative analysis of testis transcriptomes from triploid and fertile diploid cyprinid fish. Biology of reproduction, 92(4), 95.

Yin, P. et al. (2017) “Diethylstilbestrol, flutamide and their combination impaired the spermatogenesis of male adult zebrafish through disrupting HPG axis, meiosis and apoptosis”, Aquatic Toxicology, Vol. 185, Elsevier, pp. 129-137.