Exposure to toxic environmental elements may influence the response to stress and future generations of disorderly conduct, according to a U.S. study on mice.
The researchers, from universities in the state of Washington and Texas in Austin, found that a single exposure of pregnant female mice to a fungicide used on fruits and vegetables, vinclozolin, had consequences on the behavior of the third generation of his descendants, despite having been born and raised free of this poison.
According to the results of their study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), these mice were more sensitive to stress and anxiety experienced greater than the offspring of mice who were not in contact with the fungicide.
“We are currently in the third generation of man since the beginning of the chemical revolution, since humans have been exposed to such toxins,” said one of the authors, David Crews, who said the study is “the animal model “in this situation.
Until now ignored the stress response may depend on environmental factors of the ancestors.
But the same researchers had previously shown that vinclozolin may affect genes.
According to the study, the socialization of individuals and levels of anxiety with which reacts to stress are conditioned not only by the events of his life but also the ancestral epigenetic inheritance (the lifestyle action on genes).
“No doubt we are witnessing a real increase in mental problems such as autism and bipolar disorder,” said Crews, who said that this is due not only to live in a hectic world, but also to react in a differently by the effect of environmental factors.
In their study, the researchers also found that mice whose ancestors were exposed to vinclozolin tended to be thicker and have higher testosterone levels than their counterparts.