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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2006 Jul 25;254-255:187-201. Epub 2006 May 23.

Female sexual maturation and reproduction after prepubertal exposure to estrogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals: a review of rodent and human data.

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Developmental Neuroendocrinology Unit, Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Liège, University Hospital Center, B36, +1, B-4000 Liège (Sart-Tilman), Belgium.


Natural hormones and some synthetic chemicals spread into our surrounding environment share the capacity to interact with hormone action and metabolism. Exposure to such compounds can cause a variety of developmental and reproductive detrimental abnormalities in wildlife species and, potentially, in human. Many experimental and epidemiological data have reported that exposure of the developing fetus or neonate to environmentally relevant concentrations of some among these endocrine disrupters induces morphological, biochemical and/or physiological disorders in brain and reproductive organs, by interfering with the hormone actions. The impact of such exposures on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and subsequent sexual maturation is the subject of the present review. We will highlight epidemiological human studies and the effects of early exposure during gestational, perinatal or postnatal life in female rodents.

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