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Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Apr;114 Suppl 1:9-12.

Endocrine disrupting contaminants--beyond the dogma.

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Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.


Descriptions of endocrine disruption have largely been associated with wildlife and driven by observations documenting estrogenic, androgenic, antiandrogenic, and antithyroid actions. These actions, in response to exposure to ecologically relevant concentrations of various environmental contaminants, have now been established in numerous vertebrate species. However, many potential mechanisms and endocrine actions have not been studied. For example, the DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane] metabolite, p,p -DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene] is known to disrupt prostaglandin synthesis in the uterus of birds, providing part of the explanation for DDT-induced egg shell thinning. Few studies have examined prostaglandin synthesis as a target for endocrine disruption, yet these hormones are active in reproduction, immune responses, and cardiovascular physiology. Future studies must broaden the basic science approach to endocrine disruption, thereby expanding the mechanisms and endocrine end points examined. This goal should be accomplished even if the primary influence and funding continue to emphasize a narrower approach based on regulatory needs. Without this broader approach, research into endocrine disruption will become dominated by a narrow dogma, focusing on a few end points and mechanisms.

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