Author(s): Cranmer JS, Avery DL, Grady RR, Kitay JI
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Abstract Prenatal exposure to pesticides of three different classes initiated persistent postnatal endocrine dysfunction. Adrenal function and hepatic metabolism of corticosterone were studied in adult hybrid mice exposed during development to either an organophosphate (Diazinon), a carbamate (Carbofuran), or an organochlorine (Chlordane). Animals were exposed to relatively low levels of the toxins in utero and neonatally via the mothers' milk. Exposure to lower doses of the anticholinesterase compounds, Diazinon or Carbofuran, resulted in impairment of hepatic metabolism of corticosterone in vitro due to a loss in reductive capacity per unit liver weight. Plasma levels of corticosterone were also elevated in these animals, but without a concomitant increase in adrenal steroidogenesis in vitro. The effects of exposure to Chlordane were more complex. In male animals, exposure to lower doses of chlordane resulted in an increase in plasma corticosterone levels without an apparent increase in hepatic metabolism of corticosterone or adrenal steroidogenesis. In contrast, side-chain metabolism of corticosterone was decreased in female mice exposed to Chlordane. Similar effects on pituitary-adrenal function were not evident for the offspring of mice exposed to higher doses of the toxins. Possible mechanisms for this non-linear dose-response are discussed.
This article was published in J Environ Pathol Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development