alexa Prenatal exposure to environmental agents

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Prenatal exposure to environmental agents

Effects of prenatal exposure to the most conspicuous environmental agents reported to increase several diseases risk later in life. The chosen agents are examples of a wide mechanism involving numerous agents, to which physicians and other health professionals should pay attention. Examples of less known food pollutants or drugs are also presented.


Selected agents were chosen based on the best known mechanistic and toxicological characteristics and also on most clinically relevant adverse effects on human health. Less relevant effects were excluded. Prenatal or early postnatal exposure to several agents displaying hormonal action causes persistent quantitative and qualitative changes in hormone receptors in various cell-types. Knowledge of the etiology of the different diseases aims to the development of protective measures to decrease their incidence and to find new therapeutic approaches.


Genomic characterization is important to analyze the risk for various pathologies, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative pathologies. However, somatic cells genome may be permanently altered by epigenetic changes through methylation and demetylation processes thus modifying the susceptibility to develop these diseases.


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