Effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on gonad development: Mechanistic insights from fish and mammals


Over the past century, evidence has emerged that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have an impact on reproductive health. An increased frequency of reproductive disorders has been observed worldwide in both wildlife and humans that is correlated with accidental exposures to EDCs and their increased production. Epidemiological and experimental studies have highlighted the consequences of early exposures and the existence of key windows of sensitivity during development. Such early in life exposures can have an immediate impact on gonadal and reproductive tract development, as well as on long-term reproductive health in both males and females. Traditionally, EDCs were thought to exert their effects by modifying the endocrine pathways controlling reproduction. Advances in knowledge of the mechanisms regulating sex determination, differentiation and gonadal development in fish and rodents have led to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of early exposure to EDCs on reproduction. In this manuscript, we review the key developmental stages sensitive to EDCs and the state of knowledge on the mechanisms by which model EDCs affect these processes, based on the roadmap of gonad development specific to fish and mammals.

Authors: G Delbes, M Blázquez, J I Fernandino, P Grigorova, B F Hales, C Metcalfe, L Navarro-Martín, L Parent, B Robaire, A Rwigemera, G Van Der Kraak, M Wade, V Marlatt
; Full Source: Environmental research 2021 Sep 9;204(Pt B):112040. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112040.