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A human exposure based mixture of persistent organic pollutants affects the stress response in female mice and their offspring

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are found in the food chain of both humans and animals and exert a wide spectrum of potentially adverse effects. The present experiment aimed to investigate whether a defined mixture of 29 POPs, based on the dietary intake of Scandinavians, could affect the stress response in female mice exposed through ingestion, and in their offspring. Female mice 129:C57BL/6F0 hybrids were exposed from weaning, throughout pregnancy, and up until necropsy, to either 5000 × or 100 000 × the estimated daily intake for Scandinavians. The offspring were fed a reference diet containing no POPs. Both the mothers and their offspring were tested for basal and stress responsive corticosterone levels, and in an open field test to measure locomotor activity and anxiety-like behaviours. We found mothers to have elevated basal corticosterone levels, as well as a prolonged stress response following POP exposure. In the offspring, there was no effect of POPs on the stress response in females, but the exposed males had an over-sensitised stress response. There was no effect on behaviour in either the mothers or the offspring. In conclusion, we found a human relevant POP mixture can lead to subtle dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice. As HPA axis dysregulation...

Hudecova, Alexandra Misci; Hansen, Kristine Eraker Aasland; Mandal, Siddhartha; Berntsen, Hanne Friis; Khezri, Abdolrahman; Bale, Tracy; Fraser, Thomas; Zimmer, Karin Elisabeth; Ropstad, Erik
Chemosphere 197: 585–593
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