Date Awarded

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Paul D Heideman

Committee Member

Margaret S Saha

Committee Member

Eric L Bradley


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a pervasive threat to the health of both human and wildlife populations. EDCs bind to hormone receptors and mimic or block their action, causing disrupted growth, metabolism and reproduction. Fertility affected by EDCs might be compensated if some individuals are genetically resistant. Genetic resistance in a variable population might cause hormonal feedback pathways to be more resilient to disruption. The effects of EDCs on fertility will be studied using a naturally variable population. A wild population of neonatal male mice, Peromyscus leucopus, was treated with testosterone propionate during a critical developmental period. Genetic variation was measured by collecting testis and seminal vesicle mass. These results were used to determine the potential change in fertility of the mice. Preliminary results indicate that there is no genetic difference in individuals in their response to EDCs, suggesting that there is no inherited resilience to these chemicals. Ongoing studies on the impact of endocrine disruptors on reproduction will continue to be of increasing importance for determining prevention and treatment methods.



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