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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;784:455-79. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6199-9_21.

Effects of environmental endocrine disruptors and phytoestrogens on the kisspeptin system.

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Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


Sex steroid hormones, most notably estradiol, play a pivotal role in the sex-specific organization and function of the kisspeptin system. Endocrine--disrupting compounds are anthropogenic or naturally occurring compounds that interact with steroid hormone signaling. Thus, these compounds have the potential to disrupt the sexually dimorphic ontogeny and function of kisspeptin signaling pathways, resulting in adverse effects on neuroendocrine physiology. This chapter reviews the small but growing body of evidence for endocrine disruption of the kisspeptin system by the exogenous estrogenic compounds bisphenol A, polychlorinated biphenyl mixtures, and the phytoestrogen genistein. Disruption is region, sex, and compound specific, and associated with shifts in the timing of pubertal onset, irregular estrous cycles, and altered sociosexual behavior. These effects highlight that disruption of kisspeptin signaling pathways could have wide ranging effects across multiple organ systems, and potentially underlies a suite of adverse human health trends including precocious female puberty, idiopathic infertility, and metabolic syndrome.

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