Disorders of the male reproductive system are increasing in prevalence. The term testicular dysgenesis syndrome emphasizes the importance of developmental influences on the aetiology of conditions including cryptorchidism, testicular germ cell cancer and reduced spermatogenesis. Men whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have lower sperm production. Cigarette smoke contains agents acting on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). We have investigated the presence of AHR in the developing human testis and the effects of functional activation.