[en] Sex steroids and thyroid hormones play a key role in the development of the central nervous system. The critical role of these hormonal systems may explain the sensitivity of the hypothalamus, the cerebral cortex, and the hippocampus to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC). This review examines the evidence for endocrine disruption of glial-neuronal functions in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. Focus was placed on two well-studied EDC, the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). DDT is involved in neuroendocrine disruption of the reproductive axis, whereas polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) interact with both the thyroid hormone- and sex steroid-dependent systems and disturb the neuroendocrine control of reproduction and development of hippocampus and cortex. These results highlight the impact of EDC on the developing nervous system and the need for more research in this area.
Belgian Study Group for Pediatric endocrinology, Belgian "FNRS", Faculty of Medicine at University of Liège