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|Title:||A treatise on hazards of endocrine disruptors and tool to evaluate them|
Pereira, Ben M J
|Keywords:||Endocrine disruption;Phytoestrogen;Reproduction;Steroid receptors Xenobiotics|
|Abstract:||Hormones mediate a major part of our essential physiological functions. Both endogenous and exogenous compounds and their metabolites are known to act through hormone receptors leading to regulation of endocrine function. The endogenous ligands that control reproductive functions are generally steroids such as 17β-estradiol, androgens, progesterone, pregnenolone and glucocorticoids. However, exogenous compounds that are structurally and functionally similar gain entry into animals including humans through the diet or by occupational exposures, causing endocrine disruption. In the recent decade, there is a lot of apprehension about the so-called ‘‘endocrine disruptors’’ which are wide spread in the environment, mainly due to unrestricted human activity. These compounds of anthropogenic or natural origin mimic the action of sex hormones and can interfere with the endocrine system. It has been hypothesized that environmental exposure to synthetic estrogenic chemicals and related endocrine active compounds may be responsible for malformations in the male reproductive tract, crytorchidism, hypospadias, decrease in sperm counts, decreased male reproductive capacity and even testicular cancers. The increasing concern in both public and scientific communities about these abnormalities have prompted the initiation of epidemiological studies to not only identify, but to also analyze the short and long term effects of endocrine disruptors. As a result, a number of assays have been developed and are undergoing validation aimed at high throughput screening of chemical agents that disrupt endocrine activity. This review consolidates the findings of epidemiological studies, particularly in relation to male reproductive disorders and brings to light the various types of in vitro and in vivo models that are available for tiered testing of suspected compounds.|
|ISSN:||0975-1009 (Online); 0019-5189 (Print)|
|Appears in Collections:||IJEB Vol.43(11) [November 2005]|
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