Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Persistent organic pollutants affect the stress hormone cortisol

28.12.2010
Karin E Zimmer's PhD research shows that persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as PCB and mixtures of different POPs, affect the way the adrenal cortex functions and thereby the synthesis of the stress hormone cortisol.

Cortisol plays an important role in normal foetal development and, later in life, in retaining normal body functions during periods of stress. Less research has been carried out on the effects of POPs on cortisol levels than on sex hormones.

POPs are widespread in nature and all animals and humans are exposed to them daily, mainly through food. There have been great concerns regarding the potential ability of these pollutants to affect the body's hormone balance. Zimmer's thesis sheds light on how exposure during early life stages interferes with hormone levels and may therefore cause harm to health later in life. Zimmer also investigated how the production of hormones such as cortisol and sex hormones were affected by environmental mixtures of POPs extracted from fish.

The thesis reveals that exposure to PCBs during foetal life and the suckling period caused altered cortisol levels in the blood of both foetuses and adult animals. This indicates that exposure during these sensitive, initial stages of life may have long-term consequences. Her findings are important because altered cortisol balance during early life may lead to a predisposition to develop several diseases in adulthood, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Knowledge about how POPs work and how different POPs act together is important for the assessment of human health risks. Zimmer used human hormone-producing cells in her study. High levels of brominated flame retardants in a POP mixture extracted from fish in Lake Mjøsa in Norway did not make this mixture more potent as regards increasing hormone synthesis than a similar fish mixture from another lake with considerably lower levels. Another POP mixture extracted from crude, unprocessed cod liver also had a pronounced affect on the synthesis of cortisol and sex hormones, whereas a mixture from processed, commercial cod liver oil, which is frequently consumed as a dietary supplement, was shown to have only limited effects.

Karin Zimmer concludes that cortisol synthesis appears to be a sensitive target for POPs and that efforts should be made to find out to what degree this may threaten human and animal health.

Karin Zimmer Cand.med.vet. defended her thesis entitled “Persistent organic pollutants as endocrine disruptors: effects on adrenal development and steroidogenesis” at The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science on 2nd December 2010.

Credit: Gunn C. Østby

Magnhild Jenssen | alfa
Further information:
http://veths.episerverhosting.com/en/Home/News/News-stories/Persistent-organic-pollutants-affect-the-stress-hormone-cortisol/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Individual Receptors Caught at Work
19.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
19.10.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction

19.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Integrated lab-on-a-chip uses smartphone to quickly detect multiple pathogens

19.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

19.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>