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Géraldine Delbès

Areas of expertise

Reproductive Toxicology , Environmental Toxicology , Toxicity of environmental and medical substances on the development of male germ cells , Toxicology

  • Associate Professor

450-687-5010 ext. 8830

450 686-5501


Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre

531 des Prairies Blvd.
Laval, Quebec  H7V 1B7

See the research centre

Research interests

Our central research focus is the investigation of the interface among toxicants, genes, the epigenome and reproductive outcome. Evidence has been accumulating in recent years that the exposure to environmental components and drugs causes reproductive disorders in human population. However, the mechanisms by which such chemicals induce disorders in male fertility and in male germ cells have not been resolved.

Effect of estrogenic compounds on testicular development and adult fertility.

This research will be based on the demonstration that there is a period of increased sensitivity during fetal development of germ cells and that if these cells are exposed at this time there is an increase in reproductive abnormalities and potential the future generations. Epigenetic mechanisms may be involved and their study is one of the research priorities. The research focuses on 4 objectives:

  • Characterization of histone changes in fetal gonads
  • Effect of Low Doses of Estrogen Cocktails on the Development of the Fetal Testicle
  • Effect of estrogen on gene expression, histone changes, and methylation of DNA in gonocytes
  • Long-term effect of estrogen exposure during fetal life on adult fertility

Effect of chemotherapy on the development of male germ cells.

Alkylating agents used for chemotherapy may alter differentiation of germ cells inducing male infertility. Treatments in adults induce a decrease in the production of good quality mature spermatozoa in terms of motility, morphology and genetic integrity. These phenomena may be reversible but no prediction markers are currently available. The only method of preserving fertility for these patients is therefore the cryopreservation of the spermatozoa before treatment. But what about pre-pubertal children, unable to produce sperm? Our research aims to identify fertility biomarkers and evaluate the impact of chemotherapy on the immature testis.

Our research is organized according to 3 axes:

  • Male polymorphism and fertility after chemotherapy
  • Impact of alkylating agents on spermatogonia
  • Study of the quality of the spermatozoa after pre- or post-puberty treatment


Rhizlane ElOmri


Ghida Baalbaki


Antoine Gillet


Victoria Lim

Undergraduate summer internship

Kevin Popa

Undergraduate summer internship

Fabien Joao

Research assistant


Lecante LL, Gaye B., Delbes G. Impact of in utero rat exposure to 17alpha-ethinylestradiol or genistein on testicular development and germ cell gene expressionFrontiers in Toxicology, section Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology. 2022. In press


Marlatt VL, Bayen S, Castaneda-Cortès D, Delbès G, Grigorova P, Langlois VS, Martyniuk CJ, Metcalfe CD, Parent L, Rwigemera A, Thomson P, Van Der Kraak G. Impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals on reproduction in wildlife and humansEnviron Res. 2022 May 15;208:112584. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112584.


G Delbes, MM Blázquez, JI Fernandino, P Grigorova, BF Hales, C Metcalfe, L Navarro-Martín, L Parent, B Robaire, A Rwigemera, G Van Der Kraak, M Wade, VL Marlatt. 2021. Effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on Gonad Development: Mechanistic insights from fish and mammalsEnvironmental Research. 2022 Mar;204(Pt B):112040. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112040.


B Robaire, G Delbes, JA Head, VL Marlatt, CJ Martyniuk, S Reynaud, VLTrudeau, JA Mennigen. 2021. A cross-species comparative approach to assessing multi- and transgenerational effects of endocrine disrupting chemicalsEnvironmental Research. 2022 Mar;204(Pt B):112063. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112063.


A Rwigemera, R El Omri-Charai, LL Lecante, G Delbes. 2021. Dynamics in the expression of epigenetic modifiers and histone modifications in perinatal rat germ cells during de novo DNA methylationBiol Reprod. Feb 11;104(2):361-373.


Rwigemera A, Elomri-Charai R, Lecante LL, Delbes G.(2020)
Dynamics in the expression of epigenetic modifiers and histone modifications in perinatal rat germ cells during de novo DNA methylationBiology of Reproduction, ioaa206


Beaud H, Albert O, Robaire B, Rousseau MC, Chan PTK, Delbes G.(2019)
Sperm DNA integrity in adult survivors of paediatric leukemia and lymphoma: A pilot study on the impact of age and type of treatment. PLoS One. 2019 Dec 19;14(12):e0226262


Beaud H, Tremblay AR, Chan PTK, Delbes G.(2019)
Sperm DNA Damage in Cancer Patients. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1166:189-203.


Lusignan MF, Li X, Herrero B, Delbes G, Chan PTK. (2018)
Effects of different cryopreservation methods on DNA integrity and sperm chromatin quality in men. Andrology. 2018 Nov;6(6):829-835


Tremblay, A., Delbes, G. (2018)
In vitro study of doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress in spermatogonia and immature Sertoli cells Toxicol Appl Pharmacol2018 Jun 1;348:32-42


Tremblay, A., Beaud, H., Delbes, G. (2017)
Transgenerational impact of chemotherapy: would the father exposure affect the health of future progeny? Gynecol Obstet Fertil Senol. 2017 Nov;45(11):609-618


RwigemerA, A., Joao, F., Delbes, G. (2017)
Fetal testis organ culture reproduces the dynamics of epigenetic reprogramming in rat gonocytes Epigenetics Chromatin. 2017 Apr 11;10:19. 


Beaud, H., Van Pelt, A., Delbes, G. (2017)
Doxorubicin and vincristine affect undifferentiated rat spermatogonia. Reproduction. 2017 Jun;153(6):725-735


Chemek, M., Mimouna, S.B., Boughammoura, S., Delbès, G., Messaoudi, I. (2016)
Protective role of zinc against the toxicity induced by exposure to cadmium during gestation and lactation on testis developmentReproductive Toxicology, 63, 151-160


Lassonde, G., Nasuhoglu, D., Pan, J. F., Gaye, B., Yargeau, V. & Delbès, G. (2015)
Ozone treatment prevents the toxicity of an environmental mixture of estrogens on rat fetal testicular developmentReproductive Toxicology, 58, 85-92


Habert, R., Muczynski, V., Grisin, T., Moison, D., Messiaen, S., Frydman, R., Benachi, A., Delbès, G., Lambrot, R., Lehraiki, A., N’tumba-Byn, T., Guerquin, M. J., Levacher, C., Rouiller-Fabre, V. & Livera, G. (2014)
Concerns about the widespread use of rodent models for human risk assessments of endocrine disruptorsReproduction, 147, 4, R119-29


Herrero, M. B., Delbès, G., Chung, J. T., Son, W. Y., Holzer, H., Buckett, W. & Chan, P. (2013) Case report: the use of annexin V coupled with magnetic activated cell sorting in cryopreserved spermatozoa from a male cancer survivor: healthy twin newborns after two previous ICSI failuresJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 30, 11, 1415-9


Delbes, G., Herrero, M. B., Troeung, E. T. & Chan, P. T. (2013)
The use of complimentary assays to evaluate the enrichment of human sperm quality in asthenoteratozoospermic and teratozoospermic samples processed with Annexin-V magnetic activated cell sortingAndrology, 1, 5, 698-706


Larcher, S., Delbès, G., Robaire, B. & Yargeau, V. (2012)
Degradation of 17alpha-ethinylestradiol by ozonation–identification of the by-products and assessment of their estrogenicity and toxicityEnvironment International, 39, 1, 66-72


Delbès, G., Yanagiya, A., Sonenberg, N. & Robaire, B. (2012)
PABP interacting protein 2A (PAIP2A) regulates specific key proteins during spermiogenesis in the mouseBiology of Reproduction, 86, 3, 95


Delbès, G., Chan, D., Hales, B. F., Trasler, J. M. & Robaire, B. (2012)
Selective induction of glutathione S-transferases in round spermatids from the Brown-Norway rat by the chemotherapeutic regimen for testicular cancer,
Reproductive Toxicology, 36C, 24-32


Chan, D., Delbès, G., Landry, M., Robaire, B. & Trasler, J. M. (2012)
Epigenetic alterations in sperm DNA associated with testicular cancer treatment,
Toxicological Sciences, 125, 2, 532-43


Yanagiya, A., Delbès, G., Svitkin, Y. V., Robaire, B. & Sonenberg, N. (2010)
The poly(A)-binding protein partner Paip2a controls translation during late spermiogenesis in miceJournal of Clinical Investigation, 120, 9, 3389-400


Delbès, G., Vaisheva, F., Luu, T., Marcon, L., Hales, B. F. & Robaire, B. (2010)
Reversibility of the effects of the chemotherapeutic regimen for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone, on the male rat reproductive system and progeny outcomeReproductive Toxicology, 29, 3, 332-8


Delbès, G. & Sherins, R. J. (2010)
Is there a Decline in Sperm Counts in Men? In: Robaire, B. & Chan, P. (Eds.) Handbook of Andrology. 2nd Ed ed., The American Society of Andrology.


Delbès, G., Hales, B. F. & Robaire, B. (2010)
Toxicants and human sperm chromatin integrityMolecular Human Reproduction, 16, 1, 14-22


Delbès, G., Chan, D., Pakarinen, P., Trasler, J. M., Hales, B. F. & Robaire, B. (2009)
Impact of the chemotherapy cocktail used to treat testicular cancer on the gene expression profile of germ cells from male Brown-Norway rats, Biology of Reproduction, 80, 2, 320-7


Vaisheva, F., Delbès, G., Hales, B. F. & Robaire, B. (2007)
Effects of the chemotherapeutic agents for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP), on the male rat reproductive system and progeny outcomeJournal of Andrology, 28, 4, 578-87


Delbès, G., Hales, B. F. & Robaire, B. (2007)
Effects of the chemotherapy cocktail used to treat testicular cancer on sperm chromatin integrity, Journal of Andrology, 28, 2, 241-9; discussion 250-1


Delbès, G., Duquenne, C., Szenker, J., Taccoen, J., Habert, R. & Levacher, C. (2007) Developmental changes in testicular sensitivity to estrogens throughout fetal and neonatal life, Toxicological Sciences, 99, 1, 234-43


Livera, G., Delbès, G., Pairault, C., Rouiller-Fabre, V. & Habert, R. (2006)
Organotypic culture, a powerful model for studying rat and mouse fetal testis development, Cell and Tissue Research, 324, 3, 507-21


Habert, R., Delbès, G., Duquenne, C., Livera, G. & Levacher, C. (2006)
[Effects of estrogens on the development of the testis during fetal and neonatal life], Gynecologie, Obstetrique et Fertilite, 34, 10, 970-7


Delbès, G., Levacher, C. & Habert, R. (2006)
Estrogen effects on fetal and neonatal testicular development, Reproduction, 132, 4, 527-38


Delbès, G., Levacher, C., Duquenne, C., Racine, C., Pakarinen, P. & Habert, R. (2005) Endogenous estrogens inhibit mouse fetal Leydig cell development via estrogen receptor alphaEndocrinology, 146, 5, 2454-61


Delbès, G., Levacher, C., Duquenne, C. & Habert, R. (2005)
[Is fetal testis in danger?]Médecine sciences : M/S, 21, 12, 1083-8


Delbès, G., Levacher, C., Pairault, C., Racine, C., Duquenne, C., Krust, A. & Habert, R. (2004) Estrogen receptor beta-mediated inhibition of male germ cell line development in mice by endogenous estrogens during perinatal lifeEndocrinology, 145, 7, 3395-403


Rouiller-Fabre, V., Levacher, C., Pairault, C., Racine, C., Moreau, E., Olaso, R., Livera, G., Migrenne, S., Delbès, G. & Habert, R. (2003) Development of the foetal and neonatal testis, Andrologia, 35, 1, 79-83