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Superfund Research Program

Assessing Adverse Effects of Environmental Hazards on Reproductive Health in Human Populations

Project Leader: Bill L. Lasley
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 1995-2015

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Project Summary (2000-2005)

The objective of this project is to develop and apply methods to identify and quantify xenobiotic substances in biological samples that act through the estrogen receptor (ER) and/or the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and accordingly cause adverse effects on human reproductive health. Researchers are utilizing cell-based bioassay systems developed in the Cellular Biology Project (Project 5) to detect ER- and AhR agonists in biological samples. These bioassays are being tested using a unique set of paired serum and urine samples from a population of male Russian children with high levels of exposure to environmental chemicals. A non-human primate model is also being used to validate the bioassay methods in these studies. Blood and urine samples recovered following experimental in vivo exposures to TCDD, t-octylphenol, fenvalerate, atrazine and diuronl are being analyzed for activation of ER and AhR. In other studies, previously developed assays for reproductive biomarkers of exposure are being applied to a population of women who eat contaminated fish from San Francisco Bay. Preliminary data indicate abnormalities of menstrual function in this group of women. In addition, the assays are being utilized to study the population of women (recruited for the Epidemiology Project, Project 9), who have suspected exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons. Existing immunoassays for reproductive hormone metabolites are being adapted to a format that is more efficient for population-based studies.

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