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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 11-12, pp. 2069-2079

Modification of endocrine active potential by mixtures

Kevin Gaido, Li You and S. Safe

CIIT Centers for Health Research, 6 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA; Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Abstract: Wildlife and humans are exposed to a complex mixture of endocrine active chemicals. The activity of a specific chemical in any mixture can be modified through interactions with other components of the mixture. The toxic equivalency factor (TEF) approach for risk assessment was developed for chemicals such as halogenated aromatics that induce their effects through ligand-activated receptors. For persistent halogenated aromatic AhR agonists, this approach has some utility. However, the use of the TEF approach for endocrine active compounds is confounded by the unique tissue- and response-specific activities of these structurally diverse compounds. The term selective receptor modulator describes the ability of a natural or synthetic receptor ligand to manifest agonist activity in one tissue or for one response and antagonist activity in other tissues or for another response in the same tissue. Thus, it is possible for chemicals in a mixture to behave in an additive manner for one response and an antagonist manner for another response. A mechanisms-based hazard risk assessment of endocrine active chemical mixtures must account for these multiple variables.