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Effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on Animal Reproductive Systems and Epigenetic Modifications

Abstract

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of highly toxic endocrine-disrupting chemicals comprising 209 homologs. PCBs are extensively found in the environment and can induce typical estrogenic and profound, long-lasting effects on animals. In this article, the introduction of PCB residues into the environment and the pathways of PCB enrichment in animals are described. PCBs are widely deposited and eventually accumulate in human tissues and body fluids through biomagnification. PCBs can significantly decrease animal fertility and interfere with endocrine processes, leading to the development of various diseases and even cancer. The effects of PCBs on the reproductive systems of animals can also be passed to their offspring, indicating that PCBs may affect the epigenetic modification process. There is currently no treatment to effectively inhibit the toxicity of PCBs in organisms; therefore, the severity of PCB toxicity needs to be widely recognized.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31571549). The author wishes to thank Dr. Jiong-Jie Jing from Tongji University for her valuable contributions to the critical comments of the original draft of this paper.

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He, QL., Zhang, L. & Liu, SZ. Effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on Animal Reproductive Systems and Epigenetic Modifications. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 107, 398–405 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-021-03285-6

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Keywords

  • PCBs
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Reproductive system
  • Toxicity
  • Epigenetic modification