Endocrine disruptors and behavioural anomalies

DiEthylStilbestrol impact on the epigenetic mechanisms involved in neurodevelopment

2011 Study Abstract

Prenatal environmental events that disturb neurodevelopment are suspected to increase the risk of psychiatric disorders.

Endocrine disruptors and behavioural anomalies, ResearchGate publication/251710531, Médecine et Longévité 3(2):94-98, June 2011.

Image credit hairybald.

Estrogenic hormones such as diethylstilbestrol (DES) and environmental monomers like Bisphenol A (BPA) have the potential to disturb the development of the foetus and especially its brain.

We reviewed the epidemiological studies investigating a possible association between prenatal DES or BPA exposure and risk of psychiatric disorders and discussed the hypothetical biological mechanisms linking this prenatal exposure with psychiatric disorders. The principal methodological issues that could represent confounding factors and may explain conflicting results are discussed.

Interestingly, prenatal exposure to DES and BPA has been linked to epigenetic alterations associated with urogenital lesions observed in the exposed offspring, supporting the hypothesis that this environmental factor can indeed alter epigenetic regulations. Following the same line of thinking, these endocrine disruptors may modify the epigenetic mechanisms involved in neurodevelopment and, in turn, increase the occurrence of psychiatric disorders.

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