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Front Neuroendocrinol. 2010 Oct;31(4):420-39. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2010.06.003. Epub 2010 Jul 4.

Epigenetic effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on female reproduction: an ovarian perspective.

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1
Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525, USA.

Abstract

The link between in utero and neonatal exposure to environmental toxicants, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and adult female reproductive disorders is well established in both epidemiological and animal studies. Recent studies examining the epigenetic mechanisms involved in mediating the effects of EDCs on female reproduction are gathering momentum. In this review, we describe the developmental processes that are susceptible to EDC exposures in female reproductive system, with a special emphasis on the ovary. We discuss studies with select EDCs that have been shown to have physiological and correlated epigenetic effects in the ovary, neuroendocrine system, and uterus. Importantly, EDCs that can directly target the ovary can alter epigenetic mechanisms in the oocyte, leading to transgenerational epigenetic effects. The potential mechanisms involved in such effects are also discussed.

PMID:
20609371
PMCID:
PMC3009556
DOI:
10.1016/j.yfrne.2010.06.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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