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Biol Reprod. 2019 May 11. pii: ioz081. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioz081. [Epub ahead of print]

The epigenetic impacts of endocrine disruptors on female reproduction across generations†.

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Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.


Humans and animals are repeatedly exposed to endocrine disruptors, many of which are ubiquitous in the environment. Endocrine disruptors interfere with hormone action; thus, causing non-monotonic dose responses that are atypical of standard toxicant exposures. The female reproductive system is particularly susceptible to the effects of endocrine disruptors. Likewise, exposures to endocrine disruptors during developmental periods are particularly concerning because programming during development can be adversely impacted by hormone level changes. Subsequently, developing reproductive tissues can be predisposed to diseases in adulthood and these diseases can be passed down to future generations. The mechanisms of action by which endocrine disruptors cause disease transmission to future generations are thought to include epigenetic modifications. This review highlights the effects of endocrine disruptors on the female reproductive system, with an emphasis on the multi- and transgenerational epigenetic effects of these exposures.


chromatin; developmental origins of health and disease; dna methylation; endocrine disruptors; environmental contaminants and toxicants; epigenetics; female reproductive tract; histone modifications


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