Endocrine Disruption in the Omics Era: New Views, New Hazards, New Approaches

Eva Oliveira, Carlos Barata, Benjamin Piña*
Department of Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

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Creative Commons License
© Oliveira et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the IDAEA-CSIC, Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Spain; Tel: 34 93 400 6157; Fax: 34 93204 5904; E mail:


The genome revolution has brought about a complete change on our view of biological systems. The quantitative determination of changes in all the major molecular components of the living cells, the "omics" approach, opened whole new fields for all health sciences, including toxicology. Endocrine disruption, i.e., the capacity of anthropogenic pollutants to alter the hormonal balance of the organisms, is one of the fields of Ecotoxicology in which omics has a relevant role. In the first place, the discovery of scores of potential targets in the genome of almost any Metazoan species studied so far, each of them being a putative candidate for interaction with endocrine disruptors. In addition, the understanding that ligands, receptors, and their physiological functions suffered fundamental variations during animal evolution makes it necessary to assess disruption effects separately for each major taxon. Fortunately, the same deal of knowledge on genes and genomes powered the development of new high-throughput techniques and holistic approaches. Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and others, together with appropriate prediction and modeling tools, will mark the future of endocrine disruption assessment both for wildlife and humans.

Keywords: Chemicals, endocrine disruption, hormone, metabolomics, proteomics, risk assessment, transcriptomics.