Benzo[a]pyrene impairs the migratory pattern of human gonadotropin-releasing-hormone-secreting neuroblasts


  • Giulia Guarnieri Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Matteo Becatti Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Paolo Comeglio Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Linda Vignozzi Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Mario Maggi Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Gabriella Barbara Vannelli Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Annamaria Morelli | Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy.


Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a widespread pollutant that can act as an endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) and interferes with reproductive function. The central regulatory network of the reproductive system is mediated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, which originate in the olfactory placode and, during ontogenesis, migrate into the hypothalamus. Given the importance of the migratory process for GnRH neuron maturation, we investigated the effect of BaP (10 µM for 24 h) on GnRH neuroblasts isolated from the human fetal olfactory epithelium (FNCB4). BaP exposure significantly reduced the mRNA level of genes implicated in FNCB4 cell migration and affected their migratory ability. Our findings demonstrate that BaP may interfere with the central neuronal network controlling human reproduction affecting GnRH neuron maturation.



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GnRH neurons, benzo[a]pyrene, EDCs, cell migration, reproductive function, pollution, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
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How to Cite
Guarnieri, G., Becatti, M. ., Comeglio, P., Vignozzi, L., Maggi, M., Vannelli, G. B. ., & Morelli, A. (2021). Benzo[a]pyrene impairs the migratory pattern of human gonadotropin-releasing-hormone-secreting neuroblasts. European Journal of Histochemistry, 65(s1).