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:2/2/2016)... 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer – ... Are you interested in the future of cancer ... inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions to 2026 ... level. Avoid falling behind in data or ... revenues those emerging cancer therapies can achieve. There ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016 Rising sales of consumer ... touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ... size through 2020   --> ... technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading semiconductor ... West Chester, Ohio announced today the acquisition ... based in Austin, Texas , will ... provide modifications, installations and technical support offerings for TEL ... PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world class service including ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... Should antibiotic bone cement products be used ... infection after standard total hip or knee replacement surgery? ... have been fielding a lot lately. "Antibiotic ... --> "Antibiotic Bone Cement: Fighting ... --> While there isn,t a simple answer, ECRI ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016 Novan, Inc. today announced that Director Robert ... Directors of Novan. In addition, Robert Keegan has been ... Carolina . --> North Carolina ... received a total of $32.8 million of net proceeds in a ... network originating throughout the Research Triangle area of North ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... , ... Information Management Services ( IMS ) is pleased to announce a ... technical foundation and is so significant it was endowed with a new name, BSI ... search results, a streamlined layout and a more intuitive format for navigating the system. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Inc. (NYSE MKT: NNVC) (the "Company"), a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral ... will present information about the company,s programs at the BIOCEO conference ... York City . --> --> ... EST. Registered attendees can request a one on one meeting through ... --> New York City . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: