Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) include lipophilic legacy POPs and the amphiphilic perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs). They have long half-lives and bioaccumulate in the environment, animals and human beings. POPs possess toxic, carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting potentials. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are compounds that either mimic or block endogenous hormones and thus disrupt the normal hormone homeostasis. Biomonitoring assesses the internal doses of a person to provide information about chemical exposures. Effect biomarkers assess chemicals potential to affect cellular functions in vivo/ex vivo. Human beings are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals, having individually very different biological potentials and effects. Therefore, the assessment of the combined, integrated biological effect of the actual chemical mixture in human blood is important. In vitro and ex vivo cell systems have been introduced for the assessment of the integrated level of xenobiotic cellular effects in human beings. Ex vivo studies have shown geographical differences in bioaccumulated POP serum levels, being reflected by the combined biomarker effects of the complex mixture extracted from human serum. Xenohormone receptor transactivities can be used as an ex vivo integrated biomarker of POP exposure and effects. Epidemiological and in vitro/ex vivo studies have supported the potential impact of the combined effect of serum POPs on the activity of hormone and/or dioxin receptors as a risk factor for human health. With focus on hormone disruption, this MiniReview will give an update on recent POP-related endocrine-disrupting effects in vitro/ex vivo/in vivo and some related genetic data.
Eva C. Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Mandana Ghisari, Maria Wielsøe, Christian Bjerregaard-Olesen, Lisbeth S. Kjeldsen and Manhai Long, Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 29 MAY 2014, Online first