Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are natural or synthetic chemicals that mimic, enhance, or inhibit endogenous hormones. In this article, we review possible targets of EDCs within the ovary and explore whether EDCs may be acting as estrogen mimics, interfering with apoptosis, altering cell signaling pathways, or affecting estrogen metabolism. Though the study of EDCs has remained controversial, it is important to study them because our society continues to release large amounts of industrial chemicals into our environment and uncovering the mechanisms of action may lead to treatments of any potential adverse effects. In addition, studying how EDCs affect the ovary may lead to serendipitous discoveries about ovarian function and dysfunction. Finally, understanding the science behind endocrine disruption may influence the political and regulatory handling of EDCs.
|Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library
|Published - 2002