In vitro bioassays for the study of endocrine-disrupting food additives and contaminants

L. Connolly*, E. Ropstad, S. Verhaegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are capable of interfering with normal hormone homeostasis by acting on several targets and through a wide variety of mechanisms. Unwanted exposure to EDCs can lead to a wide spectrum of adverse health effects, especially when exposure is during critical windows of development. Feed and food are considered to be among the main routes of inadvertent exposure to EDCs, so there is an important need for efficient detection of EDCs in these matrices.

We describe in vitro bioassays that can complement current analytical chemistry in order to detect unwanted EDCs and describe their action, emphasizing assays that can measure effects on nuclear receptor signaling or hormone production. We outline both validated and unvalidated in vitro assays currently available in the scientific community for detecting and studying the effects of EDCs, and discuss their possible role in the food-safety context. We conclude by identifying gaps in the current battery of in vitro assays available for EDCs and suggest future possibilities for development and validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-238
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Issue number2
Early online date14 Nov 2010
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry


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