Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023


Gonadal steroids are crucial for guiding the sex-specific development of reproductive and nervous systems in many species. These systems are uniquely sensitive to steroid hormones such as androgens (e.g., testosterone) during the perinatal period, when gonadal hormones act on differentiating tissues to organize them in male- and female-typical patterns. Beginning in puberty and continuing through adulthood, gonadal steroids act on differentiated tissues to activate them, resulting in sex-specific behaviors, including those involved in reproduction (e.g., Arnold, 2009). Therefore, it is critical that developing organisms such as rodents receive the appropriate level of steroid hormone exposure during the perinatal period, in order for reproduction and related behaviors to emerge in sex-typical fashion in adulthood. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can interfere with endogenous hormone production and action, and exposure to EDCs during critical windows of development have been shown to permanently alter reproductive systems in rodents (Shug et al., 2011). DEHP, a plasticizer, is a well-known EDC that has been shown to alter endocrine function (Wolf et al.,1999), but how it alters the developing nervous system to cause changes in behaviors in rodents is not well known. This study examines how perinatal DEHP treatment affects steroid-sensitive systems in development and later in life.



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In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted