Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are defined as chemicals that mimic, block, or interfere with hormones in the body's endocrine systems and have been associated with a diverse array of health issues. The concept of endocrine disruption has recently been extended to metabolic alterations that may result in diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, and constitute an increasing health concern worldwide. However, while epidemiological and experimental data on the close association of EDs and adverse metabolic effects are mounting, predictive methods and models to evaluate the detailed mechanisms and pathways behind these observed effects are lacking, thus restricting the regulatory risk assessment of EDs. The EDCMET (Metabolic effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: novel testing METhods and adverse outcome pathways) project brings together systems toxicologists; experimental biologists with a thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms of metabolic disease and comprehensive in vitro and in vivo methodological skills; and, ultimately, epidemiologists linking environmental exposure to adverse metabolic outcomes. During its 5-year journey, EDCMET aims to identify novel ED mechanisms of action, to generate (pre)validated test methods to assess the metabolic effects of Eds, and to predict emergent adverse biological phenotypes by following the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) paradigm.
Keywords: adverse outcome pathway (AOP); assay validation; endocrine disruptors (EDs); human health; metabolic syndrome; metabolism; nuclear receptors (NRs); obesity; risk assessment.