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Distribution of Non-Persistent Endocrine Disruptors in Two Different Regions of the Human Brain

Research group Swaab
Publication year 2017
Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Authors D.F. Swaab, Thomas P van der Meer, Francisco Artacho-Cordón, Dicky Struik, Konstantinos C Makris, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Hanne Frederiksen, Jana V van Vliet-Ostaptchouk,

Non-persistent endocrine disrupting chemicals (npEDCs) can affect multiple organs and systems in the body. Whether npEDCs can accumulate in the human brain is largely unknown. The major aim of this pilot study was to examine the presence of environmental phenols and parabens in two distinct brain regions: the hypothalamus and white-matter tissue. In addition, a potential association between these npEDCs concentrations and obesity was investigated. Post-mortem brain material was obtained from 24 individuals, made up of 12 obese and 12 normal-weight subjects (defined as body mass index (BMI) > 30 and BMI < 25 kg/m², respectively). Nine phenols and seven parabens were measured by isotope dilution TurboFlow-LC-MS/MS. In the hypothalamus, seven suspect npEDCs (bisphenol A, triclosan, triclocarban and methyl-, ethyl-, n-propyl-, and benzyl paraben) were detected, while five npEDCs (bisphenol A, benzophenone-3, triclocarban, methyl-, and n-propyl paraben) were found in the white-matter brain tissue. We observed higher levels of methylparaben (MeP) in the hypothalamic tissue of obese subjects as compared to controls (p = 0.008). Our findings indicate that some suspected npEDCs are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Whether the presence of npEDCs can adversely affect brain function and to which extent the detected concentrations are physiologically relevant needs to be further investigated.

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