Environmental endocrine disrupters

Diethylstilbestrol can disrupt male sexual differentiation

2008 Study Abstract

Androgens, anti-Müllerian hormone, and insulin-like factor 3 are testis-derived hormones that regulate male sexual differentiation.

Correct timing of secretion and action of these hormones is critical for normal development.

Environmental endocrine disrupters, Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation, NCBI PubMed PMID: 18987500, 2008.

Image credit © sarahamina.

Endocrine disrupters are exogenous substances that cause adverse effects in the endocrine system.

They can impair the synthesis, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and action of hormones.

Male sexual differentiation can be disrupted by antiandrogens and synthetic estrogens such as diethylstilbestrol.

The number of identified environmental antiandrogens keeps growing and these compounds show clear dose-additive effects causing worry that a mixture of these chemicals can cause adverse effects even when each compound is present at a low concentration.

This is also a demanding research task for endocrinologists working with disorders of sex differentiation.

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