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See detailEndocrine-disrupting chemicals and human growth and maturation: a focus on early critical windows of exposure.
FUDVOYE, Julie ULg; Bourguignon, Jean-Pierre ULg; Parent, Anne-Simone ULg

in Vitamins and hormones (2014), 94

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous substances that interfere with hormone synthesis, metabolism, or action. In addition, some of them could cause epigenetic alterations of DNA that can be ... [more ▼]

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous substances that interfere with hormone synthesis, metabolism, or action. In addition, some of them could cause epigenetic alterations of DNA that can be transmitted to the following generations. Because the developing organism is highly dependent on sex steroids and thyroid hormones for its maturation, the fetus and the child are very sensitive to any alteration of their hormonal environment. An additional concern about that early period of life comes from the shaping of the homeostatic mechanisms that takes place also at that time with involvement of epigenetic mechanisms along with the concept of fetal origin of health and disease. In this chapter, we will review the studies reporting effects of EDCs on human development. Using a translational approach, we will review animal studies that can shed light on some mechanisms of action of EDCs on the developing organism. We will focus on the major hormone-dependent stages of development: fetal growth, sexual differentiation, puberty, brain development, and energy balance. We will also discuss the possible epigenetic effects of EDCs on human development. [less ▲]

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See detailOlfactory systems in mate recognition and sexual behavior.
Keller, Matthieu; Pillon, Delphine; Bakker, Julie ULg

in Vitamins and Hormones (2010), 83

Olfactory signals play an important role so that breeding efforts are synchronized with appropriate social and environmental circumstances. In this context, the mammalian olfactory system is characterized ... [more ▼]

Olfactory signals play an important role so that breeding efforts are synchronized with appropriate social and environmental circumstances. In this context, the mammalian olfactory system is characterized by the existence of several olfactory subsystems that have evolved to process olfactory information. While the vomeronasal (or accessory) olfactory system is usually conceived as being involved in the processing of pheromonal signals due to its close connections with the reproductive hypothalamus, the main olfactory system is, by contrast, considered as a general analyzer of volatile chemosignals, especially those that are used for the social identification of conspecifics. In fact, several recent sets of experiments suggest that both the main and accessory olfactory systems have the ability to process partly overlapping pheromonal chemosignals and that both systems converge at a downstream level of pheromonal processing. As a consequence, both systems have the ability to support complimentary aspects in mate discrimination and sexual behavior. However, the relative roles played by these systems and their interactions are at present still far from being understood. [less ▲]

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