From cohorts to molecules: Adverse impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals

Science

From Caporale N., Leemans M., Birgersson L., Germain P-L., Cheroni C., Borbély G., Engdahl E., Lindh C., Bardini Bressan R., Cavallo F., Even Chorev N., Alessandro D’Agostino G., M. Pollard S., Tullio Rigoli M., Tenderini E., Lopez Tobon A., Trattaro S., Troglio F., Zanella M., Bergman Å., Damdimopoulou P., Jönsson M., Kiess W., Kitraki E., Kiviranta H., Nånberg E., Öberg M., Rantakokko P., Rudén C., Söder O., Bornehag C-G., Demeneix B., Fini J-B., Gennings C., Rüegg J., Sturve J. and Testa G.

18/02/2022

Abstract

Convergent evidence associates exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with major human diseases, even at regulation-compliant concentrations. This might be because humans are exposed to EDC mixtures, whereas chemical regulation is based on a risk assessment of individual compounds. Here, we developed a mixture-centered risk assessment strategy that integrates epidemiological and experimental evidence. We identified that exposure to an EDC mixture in early pregnancy is associated with language delay in offspring. At human-relevant concentrations, this mixture disrupted hormone-regulated and disease-relevant regulatory networks in human brain organoids and in the model organisms Xenopus leavis and Danio rerio, as well as behavioral responses. Reinterrogating epidemiological data, we found that up to 54% of the children had prenatal exposures above experimentally derived levels of concern, reaching, for the upper decile compared with the lowest decile of exposure, a 3.3 times higher risk of language delay.

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