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DIOXINS AND ENDOMETRIOSIS: A PLAUSIBLE HYPOTHESIS
Birnbaum, L S. AND A M. Cummings. DIOXINS AND ENDOMETRIOSIS: A PLAUSIBLE HYPOTHESIS. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES 110(1):15-21, (2002).
A potential connection exists between the increasing prevalence of endometriosis and exposure to organochlorine chemicals. There is evidence that dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) can increase the incidence and severity of the disease in monkeys and can promote the growth or survival of endometrial tissue implanted into rodents in a surgically-induced model of endometriosis. The mechanism of the connection between organochlorine chemicals and endometriosis is not clear. Effects on growth factors, cytokines, the immune system, and the endocrine system are potential means of mediating the possible promotion of endometriosis by dioxins. Studies on epidemiology and on structure-activity relationships of organochlorine chemicals and endometriosis have been additional approaches to this problem. In this regard, TEQ appears to be an important determinant of the effects of organochlorine chemicals on endometriosis. In this paper, we review the literature related to endometriosis and dioxins and attempt to integrate the various sources of information that serve to bolster the hypothesis that connects dioxins and endometriosis.