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Press release

​​Evolutions in our understanding of endocrine disrupting chemicals during pregnancy​

Chicago, Illinois | September 27, 2023

​​Elsevier’s Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (MCE) journal published a new special issue: Mother, placenta, and fetal health: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals at play ​ 

We are exposed to numerous chemicals throughout our livespans. The most critical window of expsure is pregnancy, a time when not only the developing individual, but also the mother, are extremely sensitive to endocrine disruption The 7 articles contained in this Special Issue(opens in new tab/window) published in Elsevier’s Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology journal cover environmental and chemical exposures from conception throughout pregnancy.

This collection of articles examines different aspects and effects of environmental and chemical endocrine disruptions during pregnancy. Its ground breaking topics pertain to: effects of temperature and stress on fetal growth, nanoparticles at the maternal-fetal interface, pregnancy related maternal physiological adaptations and fetal chemical exposure, toxicity of prenatal exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals, toxicity and placental cells, immunological and metabolic status of women exposed to EDCs, animal studies pertaining to placenta-brain axis disruption from chemical exposure.  

Fig 1. Illustration of putative mechanisms that may underlie associations between heat stress during pregnancy and restricted fetal growth. Ambient temperature, heat stress and fetal growth: A review of placenta-mediated mechanisms(opens in new tab/window)

Quote from the Comissioning Editor’s: “Pregnancy is among the most vulnerable periods in a woman’s lifetime. It is well established that environmental exposures during pregnancy can have adverse impacts on the maternal-fetal interface with effects spanning the placenta, the fetus, and the mother, at a time during which most of her organs undergo critical adaptations. Most chemicals in addition to bathing the placental bed and having a direct impact on placental function also cross the placental barrier reaching the fetus and posing a developmental risk. This Special Issue assembles a series of works that review the state of the art regarding pregnancy exposures and the impact on maternal-fetal interface that can underlie pregnancy disorders and fetal outcomes.” 

This research addressing the growing need for more nuanced and complex understandings of how our bodies interact with their environments. Nothing could be more fundamental to this interaction than pregnancy itself. While these articles do not paint the entire picture of endocrine distrupting chemicals (EDC) and pregnancy, they do begin a more serious and focused dialogue that should serve as a stepping stone for future advancements in the field.  

The articles contained in this special issue are:

Copies of these papers are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact ​Daniel Martin​ at ​[email protected]​   

 About ​Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (MCE)​ 

Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology was established in 1974 to meet the demand for integrated publication on all aspects related to the genetic and biochemical effects, synthesis and secretions of extracellular signals (hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.) and to the understanding of cellular regulatory mechanisms involved in hormonal control. 

About Elsevier

As a global leader in scientific information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making with innovative solutions based on trusted, evidence-based content and advanced AI-enabled digital technologies.

We have supported the work of our research and healthcare communities for more than 140 years. Our 9,500 employees around the world, including 2,500 technologists, are dedicated to supporting researchers, librarians, academic leaders, funders, governments, R&D-intensive companies, doctors, nurses, future healthcare professionals and educators in their critical work. Our 2,900 scientific journals and iconic reference books include the foremost titles in their fields, including Cell Press, The Lancet and Gray’s Anatomy.

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Media contact


Daniel Martin


​+31 6 83596027​

E-mail Daniel Martin