Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are defined as chemicals that interfere with the function of the endocrine system. EDCs exert their hormonal effects through several mechanisms; modulating hormone receptors or changing metabolism of different hormones. EDCs also influence multiple signalling pathways while effecting the hormonal systems and possess complex dose-response curves. EDCs can exert deleterious effects on bone tissue through changing bone modelling and remodelling via altering bone paracrine hormone synthesis, the release of systemic hormones, cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, and effecting stem cell fate, as well as bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Evidence is accumulating of the bone disrupting effect of different groups of EDCs, such as; the perfluoroalkyl substances, the phthalate esters, the bisphenol A, the organotin compounds, the alkylphenols and the dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. This review highlights the recent discoveries of the effects of commonly found environmental chemicals on bone from basic molecular findings to clinical implications.
Keywords: bisphenols; bone; dioxins; endocrine disrupting chemicals; perfluoroalkyl substances; phthalate esters.
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