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Endocrine Disrupters and Metabolism

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Front. Endocrinol. | doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00766

Metabolism disrupting chemicals and alteration of neuroendocrine circuits controlling food intake and energy metabolism

  • 1Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
  • 2Neuroscience institute Cavaleri Ottolenghi (NICO), Italy
  • 3Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

The metabolism-disrupting chemicals (MDCs) are molecules (largely belonging to the category of endocrine disrupting chemicals, EDCs) that can cause important diseases as the metabolic syndrome, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus or fatty liver. MDCs act on fat tissue and liver, may regulate gut functions (influencing absorption), but they may also alter the hypothalamic peptidergic circuits that control food intake and energy metabolism. These circuits are normally regulated by several factors, including estrogens, therefore those EDCs that are able to bind estrogen receptors may promote metabolic changes through their action on the same hypothalamic circuits. Here, we discuss data showing how the exposure to some MDCs can alter the expression of neuropeptides within the hypothalamic circuits involved in food intake and energy metabolism. In particular, in this review we have described the effects at hypothalamic level of three known EDCs: Genistein, an isoflavone (phytoestrogen) abundant in soy-based food (a possible new not-synthetic MDC), Bisphenol A (compound involved in the manufacturing of many consumer plastic products), and Tributyltin chloride (one of the most dangerous and toxic endocrine disruptor, used in antifouling paint for boats).

Keywords: metabolic disruptors, food intake, Hypothalamus, Estrogens, Bisphenol (BPA), Tributyltin, Genistein

Received: 23 Sep 2018; Accepted: 06 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Angel Nadal, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Spain

Reviewed by:

Luis M. Garcia-Segura, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
Tanja Adam, Maastricht University, Netherlands  

Copyright: © 2018 Marraudino, Bonaldo, Farinetti, Panzica, Ponti and Gotti. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Giancarlo Panzica, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, 10124, Italy,