Molecular consequences of the exposure to toxic substances for the endocrine system of females


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are common in the environment and in everyday products such as cosmetics, plastic food packaging, and medicines. These substances are toxic in small doses (even in the order of micrograms) and enter the body through the skin, digestive or respiratory system. Numerous studies confirm the negative impact of EDCs on living organisms. They disrupt endocrine functions, contributing to the development of neoplastic and neurological diseases, as well as problems with the circulatory system and reproduction. EDCs affect humans and animals by modulating epigenetic processes that can lead to disturbances in gene expression or failure and even death. They also affect steroid hormones by binding to their receptors as well as interfering with synthesis and secretion of hormones. Prenatal exposure may be related to the impact of EDCs on offspring, resulting in effects of these substances on the ovaries and leading to the reduction of fertility through disturbances in the function of steroid receptors or problems with steroidogenesis and gametogenesis. Current literature indicates the need to continue research on the effects of EDCs on the female reproductive system. The aim of this review was to identify the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the female reproductive system and their genetic effects based on recent literature.

Authors: Alicja Kowalczyk, Marcjanna Wrzecińska, Ewa Czerniawska-Piątkowska, José Pedro Araújo, Przemysław Cwynar
; Full Source: Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie 2022 Sep 21;155:113730. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2022.113730.