Male Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction: An Underrepresented Endpoint in Toxicology Research.
Lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) is nearly ubiquitous in men of advancing age and exerts substantial physical, mental, social, and financial costs to society. While a large body of research is focused on the molecular, genetic, and epigenetic underpinnings of the disease, little research has been dedicated to the influence of environmental chemicals on disease initiation, progression, or severity. Despite a few recent studies indicating a potential developmental origin of male LUTD linked to chemical exposures in the womb, it remains a grossly understudied endpoint in toxicology research. Therefore, we direct this review to toxicologists who are considering male LUTD as a new aspect of chemical toxicity studies. We focus on the LUTD disease process in men, as well as in the male mouse as a leading research model. To introduce the disease process, we describe the physiology of the male lower urinary tract and the cellular composition of lower urinary tract tissues. We discuss known and suspected mechanisms of male LUTD and examples of environmental chemicals acting through these mechanisms to contribute to LUTD. We also describe mouse models of LUTD and endpoints to diagnose, characterize, and quantify LUTD in men and mice.
2022 Feb 16;10(2):89. doi: 10.3390/toxics10020089. PMID: 35202275; PMCID: PMC8880407.