Nongenomic actions of low concentration estrogens and xenoestrogens on multiple tissues

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2007 Aug 15;274(1-2):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2007.05.011. Epub 2007 May 21.


Nongenomic estrogenic mechanisms offer an opportunity to explain the conundrum of environmental estrogen and plant estrogen effects on cells and animals at the very low concentrations which are prevalent in our environments and diets. Heretofore the actions of these compounds have not been adequately accounted for by laboratory tests utilizing assays for actions only via the genomic pathway of steroid action and the nuclear forms of estrogen receptor alpha and beta. Membrane versions of these receptors, and the newly described GPR30 (7TMER) receptor protein provide explanations for the more potent actions of xenoestrogens. The effects of estrogens on many tissues demand a comprehensive assessment of the receptors, receptor levels, and mechanisms that might be involved, to determine which of these estrogen mimetic compounds are harmful and which might even be used therapeutically, depending upon the life stage at which we are exposed to them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Estrogens / chemistry
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Phytoestrogens / chemistry
  • Phytoestrogens / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Xenobiotics / chemistry
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism*


  • Estrogens
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Xenobiotics