How do endocrine disruptors affect the placenta?

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A research team from the Infinity laboratory in Toulouse is interested in the effect of endocrine disruptors on placental function at different stages of pregnancy.

In the Infinity Laboratory (1) in the “Pregnancy Immunology and Stem Cells” team, the placenta is the star. “It’s a great organ, I fell in love with it. Not only is he there to provide the bond between mother and baby, he is also very involved in the development of the fetus. Its functional qualities have yet to be discovered, especially in the face of aggression,” says Nabila Jabrane-Ferrat, research leader. As part of the “Environment and Health” project call from the FRM (Foundation for Medical Research), his team received funding of 450,000 euros to investigate the influence of endocrine disruptors on the function of the placenta during pregnancy. The research work started in September 2021 and is expected to last three years. They are carried out with Catherine Viguié’s team in Inrae (Toxalim).

“We have long been interested in certain viruses (cytomegalovirus, zyka, hepatitis E) that can cross the placenta and adversely affect pregnancy. Our specialty is the immune system response. With this research program, we are expanding the spectrum of possible non-infectious aggressions,” explains Julie Tabiasco, research officer.

Perfluorides, which are very present in our environment

Researchers are working primarily on organ cultures and placental organoids to study the effects of early exposure to perfluorinated compounds, an endocrine disruptor found in Teflon in ovens, plastic bottles and plastic wrap. “These components have a long service life, they survive in the soil, in the groundwater and thus in the water. Epidemiological studies conducted in the United States in regions where the soils were contaminated by these perfluorinated compounds also revealed a significant number of pregnancy disorders, false strains and congenital malformations. So we want to investigate whether these molecules have an effect on the placenta and on the development of a pregnancy at different times,” summarize Nabila Jabrane-Ferrat and Julie Tabiasco.

(1) Toulouse Institute of Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases/Inserm Laboratory

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