On August 25, 2014 the news provider Science Daily published an article on epigenetic effects of the common fungizide vinclozolin on female rats whose great grandmothers were exposed to the chemical during pregnancy. The article is based on a study by researchers of the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University, both U.S., which was recently published in the scientific journal Endocrinology. Pregnant rats were  injected once intraperitoneally with vinclozolin (100 mg per kg body weight per d) or DMSO used as solvent control. Rats of the third generation after this exposure were tested for behavioral, physiological, metabolic and genetic effects. Under the experimental design the scientists observed that adult female rats became more anxious and more vulnerable to stress, but males were not affected by the vinclozolin exposure of their great grandmothers. “These results should concern us all because we have been exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals for decades and we all go through natural challenges in life,” said David Crews, the lead author of the study. Besides vinclozolin the authors of the study also list bisphenol A and tributyltin as chemicals that can cause epigenetic changes. Both chemicals are known to be used in food contact materials.

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Science Daily (August 25, 2014). “Exposure to toxins makes great granddaughters more susceptible to stress.


Gillette, R. et al. (2014). “Sexually dimorphic effects of ancestral exposure to vinclozolin on stress reactivity in rats.Endocrinology (published online July 22, 2014).