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The testis is a complex organ that serves two important functions, namely, synthesis of steroids and production of spermatozoa to attain fertility, which are coordinated by gonadotrophins and various locally synthesized factors. The function of oestrogen in the male reproductive system has been a matter of ongoing debate. The testes produce significant amounts of oestrogenic hormones through the enzyme aromatase and oestrogen receptors (ERs), namely ERα (ESR1) and ERβ (ESR2). These receptors are selectively expressed in the cells of the testis as well as the epididymal epithelium. The importance of oestrogen signalling in male fertility is indicated by the adverse effects of selected oestrogen-like compounds, and their interaction with oestrogen receptors was proven to cause pathologies. The aim of this chapter is to review the current knowledge on oestrogen signalling and adverse effects on spermatogenesis and how they are linked to the induction of germ cell DNA damage and apoptosis.

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