Navigation Links
Persistent pollutant may promote obesity
Date:11/30/2008

Tributyltin, a ubiquitous pollutant that has a potent effect on gene activity, could be promoting obesity, according to an article in the December issue of BioScience. The chemical is used in antifouling paints for boats, as a wood and textile preservative, and as a pesticide on high-value food crops, among many other applications.

Tributyltin affects sensitive receptors in the cells of animals, from water fleas to humans, at very low concentrationsa thousand times lower than pollutants that are known to interfere with sexual development of wildlife species. Tributyltin and its relatives are highly toxic to mollusks, causing female snails to develop male sexual characteristics, and it bioaccumulates in fish and shellfish.

The harmful effects of the chemical on the liver and the nervous and immune systems in mammals are well known, but its powerful effects on the cellular components known as retinoid X receptors (RXRs) in a range of species are a recent discovery. When activated, RXRs can migrate into the nuclei of cells and switch on genes that cause the growth of fat storage cells and regulate whole body metabolism; compounds that affect a related receptor often associated with RXRs are now used to treat diabetes. RXRs are normally activated by signaling molecules found throughout the body.

The BioScience article, by Taisen Iguchi and Yoshinao Katsu, of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in Japan, describes how RXRs and related receptors are also strongly activated by tributyltin and similar chemicals. Tributyltin impairs reproduction in water fleas through its effects on a receptor similar to the RXR. In addition, tributyltin causes the growth of excess fatty tissue in newborn mice exposed to it in utero. The effects of tributytin on RXR-like nuclear receptors might therefore be widespread throughout the animal kingdom.

The rise in obesity in humans over the past 40 years parallels the increased use of industrial chemicals over the same period. Iguchi and Katsu maintain that it is "plausible and provocative" to associate the obesity epidemic to chemical triggers present in the modern environment. Several other ubiquitous pollutants with strong biological effects, including environmental estrogens such as bisphenol A and nonylphenol, have been shown to stimulate the growth of fat storage cells in mice. The role that tributyltin and similar persistent pollutants may play in the obesity epidemic is now under scrutiny.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Williams
jwilliams@aibs.org
202-628-1500 x209
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Persistent man-made chemical pollutants found in deep-sea octopods and squids
2. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
3. Environmental pollutant has sex-skewing effect
4. Atmosphere threatened by pollutants entering ocean, prof says
5. Making sure the wonder materials dont become the wonder pollutant
6. Creation of a new material capable of eliminating pollutants by the hydrocarbon industry
7. Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants
8. Arid aquaculture among livelihoods promoted to relieve worsening pressure on worlds drylands
9. NYU receives $490k NSF grant to promote women in the sciences
10. Dense tissue promotes aggressive cancers
11. Study suggests past climate changes may have promoted the formation of new species in the Amazon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) ... Cross reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) ... DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. ... biometric innovations, at CeBIT in Hanover next ... from DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... MONTEREY, Calif. , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, ... in the categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership ... Industry Leadership. This is the 9 th year ... select group of companies and individuals from past ... nominations based on a pre-described set of criteria, by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Flagship ... Dr. Nancy Gillett to its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired from ... Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Gillett ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Dr. Thomas P. McHugh , an internationally ... Woodlands, Texas , now offers SculpSure, the new ... cells in just 25-minutes, leaving a slimmer figure for ... Americans report feeling bothered by excess weight and are ... a growing industry. This innovative new approach to non-invasive ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... with its clients in mind, the fresh look and added functionality give the ... “Recent years have seen a dynamic shift in agriculture – from precision farming ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... medicine, is excited to announce the launch of the Proove Health Foundation ... volunteerism, and education to promote the use of personalized medicine for tackling the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: