Potential Antiandrogenic Effects of ppDDE in Wildlife

The antiandrogenic activity of p,p'-DDE may be one of the mechanisms by which it produces adverse effects in wildlife. The high incidence of undescended testes in the Florida panther could be the result of the high levels of p,p'-DDE in the food chain [37,38]. In the alligator, p,p'-DDE exposure has been linked to developmental reproductive abnormalities (small penis, abnormal hormone levels, skewed sex ratio with an increase in the percentage of intersex and decrease in the percent male offspring) in Lake Apopka [15,120,140-144]. Although alligator eggs from Lake Apopka contained levels of p,p -DDE (5.8 ppm) and several other contaminants [15], p,p'-DDE concentrations alone were above the concentration that block AR function in vitro, and some of the effects are likely the consequence of this chemical acting via multiple endocrine mechanisms.

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