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We set out to determine whether the addition of an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist has an effect on glucose/fructose utilization in the spermatocyte when exposed to cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). We exposed male germ cells to 5 and 40 μg/mL of CSC ± 10 μmol/L of AHR antagonist at various time points. Immunoblot expression of specific glucose/fructose transporters was compared to control. Radiolabeled uptake of 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) and fructose was also performed. Spermatocytes utilized fructose nearly 50-fold more than 2-DG. Uptake of 2-DG decreased after CSC + AHR antagonist exposure. Glucose transporters (GLUTs) 9a and 12 declined after CSC + AHR antagonist exposure. Synergy between CSC and the AHR antagonist in spermatocytes may disrupt the metabolic profile in vitro. Toxic exposures alter energy homeostasis in early stages of male germ cell development, which could contribute to later effects explaining decreases in sperm motility in smokers.


  • Omurtag K, Esakky P, Debosch BJ, Schoeller EL, Chi MM, Moley KH. Modeling the effect of cigarette smoke on hexose utilization in spermatocytes. Reprod Sci. 2015 Jan;22(1):94-101. PMID: 24803506; PMCID: PMC4527419.

Read More: Reproductive Sciences

Research Details

  • Research Center: Washington University, St. Louis

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