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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
A. Zsarnovszky
É Földvári
Zsuzsanna Rónai
T. Bartha
, and
L. Frenyó

Environmental and plant oestrogens have been identified as compounds that when ingested, disrupt the physiological pathways of endogenous oestrogen actions and thus, act as agonists or antagonists of oestrogen. Although the risks of exposure to exogenous oestrogens (ExEs) are subject to scientific debate, the question of how ExE exposure affects the central nervous system remains to be answered. We attempt to summarise the mechanisms of oestrogenic effects in the central nervous tissue with the purpose to highlight the avenues potentially used by ExEs. The genomic and rapid, non-genomic cellular pathways activated by oestrogen are listed and discussed together with the best known interneuronal mechanisms of oestrogenic effects. Because the effects of oestrogen on the brain seem to be age dependent, we also found it necessary to put the age-dependent oestrogenic effects in parallel to their intra-and intercellular mechanisms of action. Finally, considering the practical risks of human ExE exposure, we briefly discuss the human significance of this matter. We believe this short review of the topic became necessary because recent data suggest new fields and pathways for endogenous oestrogen actions and have generated the concern that the hidden exposure of humans and domestic animal species to ExEs may also exert its beneficial and/or adverse effects through these avenues.

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