Epigenetic effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on female reproduction: An ovarian perspective

Aparna Mahakali Zama, Mehmet Uzumcu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The link between in utero and neonatal exposure to environmental toxicants, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and adult female reproductive disorders is well established in both epidemiological and animal studies. Recent studies examining the epigenetic mechanisms involved in mediating the effects of EDCs on female reproduction are gathering momentum. In this review, we describe the developmental processes that are susceptible to EDC exposures in female reproductive system, with a special emphasis on the ovary. We discuss studies with select EDCs that have been shown to have physiological and correlated epigenetic effects in the ovary, neuroendocrine system, and uterus. Importantly, EDCs that can directly target the ovary can alter epigenetic mechanisms in the oocyte, leading to transgenerational epigenetic effects. The potential mechanisms involved in such effects are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-439
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


  • BPA
  • DES
  • DNA methylation
  • EDC
  • Epigenetics
  • Genistein
  • Methoxychlor
  • Ovary
  • Techniques
  • Transgenerational epigenetic effects


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