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Benson T. Akingbemi, DVM, PhD

Professor of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in August, 2004.  He had his initial education in Nigeria where he received the D.V.M. (1980), M.Sc. (1988) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees from the University of Ibadan.  With a Research Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Akingbemi came to the United States in 1997 for postdoctoral training.  Between 1997 and 2004, he worked on environmental toxicology and Leydig cells with Dr. Matthew Hardy, Center for Biomedical Research of the Population Council, Rockefeller University, New York.

Research Interests

Research Interests:  The laboratory has interests in male reproductive biology and toxicology.  The male sex steroid hormone, testosterone, which maintains the male phenotype, is produced primarily by Leydig cells in the testis.  However, the concept that ‘androgen is male and estrogen is female’ is no longer tenable because estrogen receptors (ESRs) and androgen receptors are both localized to the male reproductive tract, including Leydig cells.  Data from transgenic mice lacking ESRs support the hypothesis that estrogen has a physiological role in male reproduction.  However, there is growing public concern that chemicals in the environment (food, air, water), which have estrogenic properties, may exert adverse effects on reproductive health.  These compounds mimic and/or antagonize steroid hormones, acting through steroid hormone receptors, and interfere with the function of the endocrine axis.  Our major focus will be investigation of the role of estrogen and ESRs and effects of environmental toxicants on Leydig cell differentiated function and male reproduction.

Teaching Responsibilities:  Dr. Akingbemi is part of the team providing instruction in  Veterinary Anatomy I and II to first year veterinary students; he also takes part in the teaching of Reproductive Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology and Toxicology, Advanced Reproductive Biology, and Receptorology to graduate students.

Selected Publications

Nanjappa MK, Ahuja M, Dhanasekaran M, Coleman ES, Braden TD, Bartol FF, Bird RC, Wanders D, Judd RL, Akingbemi BT. Bisphenol A regulation of testicular endocrine function in male rats is affected by diet. Toxicol Lett. 2014 Jan 25. pii: S0378-4274(14)00035-6. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.01.024.

Napier ID, Simon L, Perry D, Cooke PS, Stocco DM, Sepehr E, Doerge DR, Kemppainen BW, Morrison EE, Akingbemi BT Testicular Development in Male Rats Is Sensitive to a Soy-Based Diet in the Neonatal Period. Biol Reprod. 2014 Jan 22.

Ye L, Chen X, Li X, Zhu Q, Yu L, Guo J, Chen B, Akingbemi BT, Ge RS, Li H.Effects of methoxychlor and its metabolite 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane on human and rat 17á-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase activity. Toxicol Lett. 2014 Jan 19. pii: S0378-4274(14)00022-8. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.01.011.

Adedara IA, Nanjappa MK, Farombi EO, Akingbemi BT. Aflatoxin B1 disrupts the androgen biosynthetic pathway in rat Leydig cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Dec 25;65C:252-259. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.12.027.

Akingbemi BT. Adiponectin receptors in energy homeostasis and obesity pathogenesis. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2013;114:317-42. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386933-3.00009-1. Review.

Nanjappa MK, Simon L, Akingbemi BTThe Industrial chemical bisphenol A interferes with proliferative activity and development of steroidogenic capacity in rat Leydig cells.  Biology of Reproduction 86 (5):135, 1-12, 2012.

Light VA, Montgomery RD, Akingbemi BTSex hormone regulation of collagen concentrations in cranial cruciate ligaments of sexually immature male rabbits.  American Journal of Veterinary Research 73(8):1186-1193, 2012.

Hafiz S, Dennis JC, Schwartz D, Judd R, Tao YX, Khazal K, Akingbemi B, Mo XL, Abdel-Mageed AB, Morrison E, Mansour M.  Expression of melanocortin receptors in human prostate cancer cell lines: MC2R activation by ACTH increases prostate cancer cell proliferation.  Int J Oncol 2012 Jul 25. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1574.

Pfaehler A, Nanjappa MK, Coleman ES, Mansour M, Wanders D, Plaisance EP, Judd RL, Akingbemi  BT.  Regulation of adiponectin secretion by soy isoflavones has implication for endocrine function of the testis.  Toxicol Letters 209(1):78-85, 2012.

Yuan K, Zhao B, Li XW, Hu GX, Su Y, Chu Y, Akingbemi BT, Lian QQ, Ge RS.  Effects of phthalates on 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 activities in human and rat testes.  Chemical and Biological Interactions 195(3):180-188, 2011.

Mansour M, Schwartz D, Judd R, Akingbemi B, Braden T, Morrison E, Dennis J, Bartol FF, Hazi A, Napier I, Abdel-Mageed AB.  Thiazolidinediones/PPARγ agonists and fatty acid synthase inhibitors as an experimental combination therapy for prostate cancer.  Intl J Oncology 38(2):537-546, 2011.

Zhao B, Hu GX, Chu Y, Jin X, Gong S, Akingbemi BT, Zhang Z, Zirkin BR, Ge RS. Inhibition of human and rat 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 activities by perfluoroalkylated substances. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Jul 7. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20619251

Sherrill JD, Sparks M, Dennis J, Mansour M, Kemppainen BW, Bartol FF, Morrison EE, Akingbemi BT. Developmental exposures of male rats to soy Isoflavones impact Leydig cell differentiation. Biol Reprod 83(3):488-501, 2010.

Hu GX, Zhao B, Chu Y, Li XH, Akingbemi BT, Zheng ZQ, Ge RS. Effects of methoxychlor and 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane on 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 activities in human and rat testes. Int J Androl, May 31, 2010. [Epub ahead of print]

Hu GX, Zhao BH, Chu YH, Zhou HY, Akingbemi BT, Zheng ZQ, Ge RS. Effects of genistein and equol on human and rat testicular 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 activities. Asian J Androl, May 10, 2010. [Epub ahead of print]

vom Saal FS, Akingbemi BT, Belcher SM, Crain DA, Crews D, Guidice LC, Hunt PA, Leranth C, Myers JP, Nadal A, Olea N, Padmanabhan V, Rosenfeld CS, Schneyer A, Schoenfelder G, Sonnenschein C, Soto AM, Stahlhut RW, Swan SH, Vandenberg LN, Wang HS, Watson CS, Welshons WV, Zoeller RT. Flawed experimental design reveals the need for guidelines requiring appropriate positive controls in endocrine disruption research. Toxicol Sci 115(2):612-613, 2010.

Mansour M, Coleman E, Dennis J, Akingbemi B, Schwartz D, Braden T, Judd R, Plaisance E, Stewart LK, Morrison EE. Activation of PPARy by Rosiglitazone does not negatively impact male sex steroid hormones in diabetic rats. PPAR Res Vol. 2009, Article ID 101857.

Hancock KD, Coleman ES, Tao YX, Morrison EE, Braden TD, Kemppainen BW, Akingbemi BTGenistein decreases androgen biosynthesis in rat Leydig cells by interference with luteinizing hormone-dependent signaling. Toxicology Letters 184(3):169-175, 2009.

Myers JP, vom Saal FS, Akingbemi BT, Arizono K, Belcher S, Colborn T, Chahoud I, Crain DA, Farabollini F, Guillette LJ, Jr., Hassold T, Ho S, Hunt PA, Iguchi T, Jobling S, Kanno J, Laufer H, Marcus M, McLachlan JA, Nadal A, Oehlmann J, Olea N, Palanza P, Parmigiani S, Rubin BS, Schoenfelder G, Sonnenschein C, Soto AM, Talsness CE, Taylor JA, Vandenberg LN, Vandenbergh JG, Vogel S, Watson CS, Welshons WV, Zoeller RT. Why public health agencies cannot depend upon 'Good Laboratory Practices' as a criterion for selecting data: The case of bisphenol-A. Environmental Health Perspectives 117:309-315, 2009.

vom Saal FS, Akingbemi BT, Belcher SM, Birnbaum LS, Crain DA, Eriksen M, Farabollini F, Guillette LJ Jr, Hauser R, Heindel JJ, Ho SM, Hunt PA, Iguchi T, Jobling S, Kanno J, Keri RA, Knudsen KE, Laufer H, LeBlanc GA, Marcus M, McLachlan JA, Myers JP, Nadal A, Newbold RR, Olea N, Prins GS, Richter CA, Rubin BS, Sonnenschein C, Soto AM, Talsness CE, Vandenbergh JG, Vandenberg LN, Walser-Kuntz DR, Watson CS, Welshons WV, Wetherill Y, Zoeller RT. Chapel Hill bisphenol A expert panel consensus statement: integration of mechanisms, effects in animals and potential to impact human health at current levels of exposure. Reproductive Toxicology 24(2):131-138, 2007.

Wetherill YB, Akingbemi BT, Kanno J, McLachlan JA, Nadal A, Sonnenschein C, Watson CS, Zoeller RT, Belcher SM. In vitro molecular mechanisms of bisphenol A action.  Reproductive Toxicology 24(2):178-198, 2007.

Akingbemi BT, Braden TD, Kemppainen BW, Hancock KD, Sherrill JD, Cook SJ, He X, Supko JG. Exposure to phytoestrogens in the perinatal period affects androgen secretion by testicular Leydig cells in the adult rat. Endocrinology 148(9):4475-4488, 2007.

Ge RS, Chen GR, Dong Q, Akingbemi B, Sottas CM, Santos M, Sealfon SC, Bernard DJ, Hardy MP. Biphasic effects of postnatal exposure to diethylhexylphthalate on the timing of puberty in male rats. Journal of Andrology 28(4):513-520, 2007.

Akingbemi BTEstrogen regulation of testicular function. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 3:51, 2005.

Akingbemi BT, Ge R, Klinefelter GR, Zirkin BR, Hardy MP. Phthalate-induced Leydig cell hyperplasia is associated with multiple endocrine disturbances.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(3):775-780, 2004.

Akingbemi BT, Sottas CM, Koulova AI, Klinefelter GR, Hardy MP. Inhibition of testicular steroidogenesis by the xenoestrogen bisphenol A is associated with reduced pituitary luteinizing hormone secretion and decreased steroidogenic enzyme gene expression in rat Leydig cells. Endocrinology 145:592-603, 2004.

Akingbemi BT, Ge R, Rosenfeld CS, Newton LG, Hardy DO, Catterall JF, Lubahn DB, Korach KS, Hardy MP. Estrogen receptor-α gene deficiency enhances androgen biosynthesis in the mouse Leydig cell. Endocrinology 144:84-93, 2003.

Akingbemi BT, Hardy MP. Oestrogenic and antiandrogenic chemicals in the environment: effects on male reproductive health. Ann Med 33:391-403, 2001.

Akingbemi BT, Youker RT, Sottas CM, Ge R, Katz E, Klinefelter GR, Zirkin BR, Hardy MP. Modulation of rat Leydig cell steroidogenic function by di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate.  Biol Reprod 65(4):1252-1259. 2001.

Akingbemi BT, Ge RS, Klinefelter GR, Gunsalus GL, Hardy MP. A metabolite of methoxychlor, 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1, 1-trichloroethane, reduces testosterone biosynthesis in rat Leydig cells through suppression of steady-state messenger ribonucleic acid levels of the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme. Biol Reprod 62(3):571-578, 2000.

Akingbemi BT, Ge RS, Hardy MP. Leydig cells. In: Encyclopedia of Reproduction. Eds: E. Knobil and J.D. Neill  Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 1021-1033, 1999.

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