Source: Medical Xpress
Prenatal exposure to low doses of the environmental contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, change the developing brain in an area involved in metabolism, and some effects are apparent even two generations later, a new study finds. Performed in rats, the research will be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego.
Hereditary effects included increased body weight, but only in descendants of females—and not males—exposed to PCBs in the womb, said study co-author Andrea Gore, PhD, professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“These endocrine-disrupting chemicals affect the developing brain differently in males and females,” Gore said.
PCBs are known endocrine disruptors, chemicals in the environment that interfere with hormones and their actions in the body. PCBs are present in air, water, soil and many products manufactured before these chemicals were banned in the U.S. in 1979.
Brain development and function, and their regulation by hormones, are very similar between rats and humans, according to Gore.
“We believe,” Gore said, “that results in our rat model may point to the potential vulnerability of the developing human brain to environmental endocrine disruptors.” …Read More>>