Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the neuroendocrine system: Beyond estrogen, androgen, and thyroid


Hundreds of anthropogenic chemicals occupy our bodies, a situation that threatens the health of present and future generations. This chapter focuses on endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), both naturally occurring and man-made, that affect the neuroendocrine system to adversely impact health, with an emphasis on reproductive and metabolic pathways. The neuroendocrine system is highly sexually dimorphic and essential for maintaining homeostasis and appropriately responding to the environment. Comprising both neural and endocrine components, the neuroendocrine system is hormone sensitive throughout life and touches every organ system in the body. The integrative nature of the neuroendocrine system means that EDCs can have multi-system effects. Additionally, because gonadal hormones are essential for the sex-specific organization of numerous neuroendocrine pathways, endocrine disruption of this programming can lead to permanent deficits. Included in this review is a brief history of the neuroendocrine disruption field and a thorough discussion of the most common and less well understood neuroendocrine disruption modes of action. Also provided are extensive examples of how EDCs are likely contributing to neuroendocrine disorders such as obesity, and evidence that they have the potential for multi-generational effects.

Authors: Heather B Patisaul
; Full Source: Advances in pharmacology (San Diego, Calif.) 2021;92:101-150. doi: 10.1016/bs.apha.2021.03.007.