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epigenetics

Perinatal exposure to environmental estrogens and the development of obesity.

Abstract

"Dietary substances and xenobiotic compounds with hormone-like activity can disrupt the programming of endocrine signaling pathways that are established during perinatal differentiation. The consequences of this disruption may not be apparent until later in life but increasing evidence implicates developmental exposure to environmental hormone-mimics with a growing list of adverse health effects including reproductive problems and increased cancer risks. Obesity has recently been proposed to be yet another adverse health consequence of exposure to endocrine disrupting substances during development. There is a renewed focus on identifying contributions of environmental factors to the development of obesity since it is reaching worldwide epidemic proportions, and this disease has the potential to overwhelm healthcare systems with associated illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here, we review the literature that proposes an association of perinatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, in particular those with estrogenic activity, with the development of obesity later in life. We further describe an animal model of developmental exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) to study mechanisms involved in programming for obesity. Our experimental data support the idea that adipocytes and the mechanisms involved in weight homeostasis are novel targets of abnormal programming of environmental estrogens, some of which are found in our foods as naturally occurring substances or inadvertently as contaminants."

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Developmental Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors and the Obesity Epidemic

Abstract

"Xenobiotic and dietary compounds with hormone-like activity can disrupt endocrine signaling pathways that play important roles during perinatal differentiation and result in alterations that are not apparent until later in life. Evidence implicates developmental exposure to environmental hormone-mimics with a growing list of health problems. Obesity is currently receiving needed attention since it has potential to overwhelm health systems worldwide with associated illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here, we review the literature that proposes an association of exposure to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals with the development of obesity. We describe an animal model of developmental exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a potent perinatal endocrine disruptor with estrogenic activity, to study mechanisms involved in programming an organism for obesity. This experimental animal model provides an example of the growing scientific field termed β€œthe developmental origins of adult disease” and suggests new targets of abnormal programming by endocrine disrupting chemicals."

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Environmental endocrine disruptors and obesity.

Abstract

"Obesity has recently become an epidemic. The rise in the childhood obesity incidence is of particular concern. High density caloric diets and physical inactivity are the main causes of obesity. Besides that, is generally accepted that obesity has a genetic predisposition, unchanged for the past few decades. The environment via endocrine disruptors might be, at least partly responsible for the globally obesity epidemic. Endocrine disruptors are environmental chemical compounds produced by human activity that either mimic or block hormonal actions. Many of them modulate lipid metabolism and adipogenesis, contributing to obesity initiation and/or exacerbation. Here we provide an overview of the role of the environmental chemical obesogens and their impact on obesity. Keywords: obesity, endocrine disruptors, epigenetics."

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