Antenatal sex-hormone exposure induces lesions in mouse reproductive organs, which are similar to those in humans exposed in utero to a synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol. The developing organisms including rodents, fish and amphibians are particularly sensitive to exposure to estrogenic chemicals during a critical window. Exposure to estrogens during the critical period induces long-term changes in reproductive as well as non-reproductive organs, including persistent molecular alterations. The antenatal mouse model can be utilized as an indicator of possible long-term consequences of exposure to exogenous estrogenic compounds including possible environmental endocrine disruptors. Many chemicals released into the environment potentially disrupt the endocrine system in wildlife and humans, some of which exhibit estrogenic activity by binding to the estrogen receptors. Estrogen responsive genes, therefore, need to be identified to understand the molecular basis of estrogenic actions. In order to understand molecular mechanisms of estrogenic chemicals on developing organisms, we are identifying estrogen responsive genes using cDNA microarray, quantitative RT-PCR, and differential display methods, and genes related to the estrogen-independent vaginal changes in mice induced by estrogens during the critical window. In this review, discussion of our own findings related to endocrine distuptor issue will be provided.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2002|