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CHE Partnership call: Why the US Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market: A Conversation with Journalist Elizabeth Grossman
Wed, Dec 9

CHE Partnership call: Environmental Health and Complexity: Exploring the Ecological Model of Health
Fri, Dec 11

CHE Partnership call: Is a Health Study the Answer for Your Community? A Guide for Making Informed Decisions
Tues Jan 26

11/18/15: MP3 recording available: Brain Sex Differences During Gestation: The Role of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

11/12/15: MP3 recording available: Predicting Toxicity: Silent Spring Institute's High Throughput Screens for Chemicals Related to Breast Cancer

11/10/15: MP3 recording available: Community-Based Participatory Research in the Arctic: Sources of Environmental Contaminants on St. Lawrence Island

11/5/15: MP3 recording available: Bringing Public Health to the International Negotiating Table: Environmental Health and the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015

10/30/15: MP3 recording available: Reducing the Burden: International Reproductive Health Leaders Call for Greater Efforts to Prevent Toxic Chemical Exposure, New Opinion from FIGO

10/21/15: MP3 recording available: The Endocrine Society's Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

10/20/15: MP3 recording available: Responding to Communities: Communicating the Science of TCE and PCE

10/19/15: MP3 recording available: Climate Change and the Release of Contaminants in the Arctic: Current Research and Potential Health Effects

10/13/15: MP3 recording available: Theories of Carcinogenesis: Mutations and Cancer

10/8/15: MP3 recording available: The Price of Pollution: Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in Children


CHE Partners on why they value our work

Transgenerational Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Environmental Obesogens in Rodents

Mar 20, 2013

This call was hosted by the CHE Diabetes-Obesity Spectrum and CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Groups

Accumulating scientific research suggests that exposure to environmental chemicals early in life can affect the risk of obesity in later life. Chemicals that can increase the risk of obesity are known as “obesogens.” Two recently published animal studies take obesogen research one step further: both found that the obesity-related effects of prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals were passed down to the third generation descendants of the exposed animals.

On this call we heard the authors of these studies discuss their results. Dr. Bruce Blumberg, who coined the term “obesogen” and has done extensive research on the topic, discussed his work on prenatal exposure to the obesogen tributyltin and its effects on fat cells in mice and their offspring. Dr. Michael Skinner, who has conducted extensive research on the transgenerational effects of various chemical exposures, discussed his findings on the transgenerational effects in rats of prenatal exposure to a mixture of BPA and phthalates.

This call was moderated by Sarah Howard, National Coordinator, CHE Diabetes-Obesity Spectrum Working Group, and Karin Russ, National Coordinator, CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group.

Featured speakers:

Bruce Blumberg, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Blumberg’s laboratory investigates the role of nuclear hormone receptors in development, physiology and disease. Dr. Blumberg and his colleagues originated the obesogen hypothesis which holds that developmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can induce permanent physiological changes. EDC exposure elicits epigenetic alterations in gene expression that reprograms the fate of mesenchymal stem cells, predisposing them to become fat cells. Exposed animals develop more and larger fat cells, despite normal diet and exercise, which is likely to lead to weight gain and obesity over time.

Michael Skinner, PhD, is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University. Dr. Skinner’s research is focused on the investigation of how different cell types in a tissue interact and communicate to regulate gonadal growth and differentiation, with emphasis in the area of reproductive biology. Recent studies have elucidated several critical events in the initiation of male sex differentiation, testis development and ovarian primordial follicle development. His current research has demonstrated the ability of endocrine disrupting chemicals to promote transgenerational epigenetic disease phenotypes due to abnormal germ line programming in gonadal development.


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