Cellular and molecular mechanisms of ovotoxicity induced by environmental chemicals

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Females are born with a finite number of ovarian follicles, thus, environmental factors that cause their extensive destruction can impair fertility and induce early ovarian failure (menopause in women). Therefore, ovotoxic chemicals pose a potential risk in womens' health. Classes of xenobiotics that are known to cause ovarian follicle damage include environmental, industrial, chemotherapeutic, and xenoestrogenic chemicals. Whereas, much information as to the ability of theses types of chemicals to cause ovotoxicity is known, there is limited mechanistic insight into their effects. Mechanistic understanding of ovarian toxicity is important for designing approaches to reduce detrimental effects on reproductive function/lifespan in exposed populations of women. Therefore, this article will review studies that have investigated cellular and molecular mechanisms by which some of these types of chemicals are directly ovotoxic. Further, comparisons of commons mechanisms of actions of these chemicals will be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-66
Number of pages20
JournalCurrent Topics in Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
  • 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide
  • Bisphenol A
  • Chemotherapeutics
  • Methoxychlor
  • Ovotoxicity
  • Phthalates
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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