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Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2012 Oct;73 Suppl 1:S36-44. doi: 10.1016/S0003-4266(12)70013-6.

[Endocrine disruptors: echoes of congress of Endocrinology in 2012].

[Article in French]

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Service de Médecine Interne B, Hôpital Cluzeau, 23 avenue Dominique Larrey, 87042 Limoges, France.


The increased prevalence of certain diseases, along with the development of new technologies and industrialization raised the possibility of the involvement of environmental factors, industrial products, nutritional factors, infections, drugs... and endocrine disruptors. These factors may interfere via signaling pathways specific to the organism. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) have been redefined by the Endocrine Society in 2012 as "exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that can interfere with any aspect of hormone action". They have therefore potentially deleterious effects on development, growth, metabolism, reproduction, the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems. Therefore, they constitute a real public health issue. Their long half-life may explain delayed effects and their often lipophilic character may promote maternofetal transmission. Except diethylstilbestrol (DES), few formal proofs have been made on the direct role of EDCs ; arguments are based on cross-sectional studies, in vitro models and animal models. Basic research puts insight into mechanisms of action of EDCs but many questions remain unanswered. Epidemiological data are difficult to interpret because of interindividual differences in susceptibility to EDCs and of nonlinear/nonmonotonique action (as opposed to toxic dose effect), multiple interactions between environmental agents (additive effects and/or synergistic and/or antagonists), the role of the window of exposure, latency, and the possibility of transgenerational effects.

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