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  • Table summarizes the literature data available

    2021-02-09

    Table 4 summarizes the literature data available on the occurrence of these two multidrug resistant of steroidal compounds in sludge and sediments. In activated and digested sewage sludge, the concentrations of ethynyl estradiol (17 ng/g), estrone (37 ng/g ), and estradiol (49 ng/g) found in one of the very few studies conducted in this kind of matrix (mestranol was not detected) indicates that estrogens may remain unchanged during sludge digestion [16]. River sediments [16], [29], [49], [51], like sewage sludge [15], [16], have rarely been investigated and, to our knowledge, there are no published reports on the occurrence of estrogens and progestogens in either marine sediments or soils. In one of the studies conducted with river sediments (in the UK), of the three estrogens (estradiol, ethynyl estradiol and estrone), only the last was detected (>0.04–0.388 ng/g wet weight) [51]. Estriol and norethindrone were the compounds most frequently detected in sediments collected in two rivers in the North-East of Spain, where maximum concentrations were obtained for ethynyl estradiol (22.8 ng/g dry weight) and estrone (11.9 ng/g) [29]. In both studies, large variations were observed in concentration between sites and between the same site sampled on different occasions, possibly explained by the difficulty in obtaining representative samples and the variability of factors such as the gaseous/redox conditions that influence degradation rates. The large differences in sediment TOC (also in the same site) demonstrate that no two bed sediments have identical characteristics [51]. In another study, conducted in Germany, estradiol, estrone and ethynyl estradiol were found at concentrations up to 2 ng/g (estrone) whereas mestranol, a prodrug for ethynyl estradiol, was not detected [16]. Finally, neither estrogens nor progestogens were detected in river sediments from Portugal [49].
    Conclusions
    Acknowledgements
    Introduction Menopause, defined as the cessation of menses for at least 1 year, is marked by a reduction in levels of ovarian hormones, including estrogens and progesterone. This decrease in circulating levels of ovarian hormones can lead to the onset of several undesired physiological symptoms, including hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, and osteoporosis (Al-Safi and Santoro, 2014, NAMS, 2014). In women, several domains of memory performance, as well as focus and concentration, are also sensitive to changes in ovarian hormone levels and have been associated with menopausal status (Maki, 2012). The presence and severity of these symptoms vary among women, and these symptoms can greatly impact a woman's quality of life; as a result, some women choose to take hormone therapy to ameliorate their symptoms. Thus, it is imperative to acquire a thorough understanding of how alterations in levels of ovarian hormones, and exogenously administered hormones, impact issues associated with menopause, such as changes in memory. Moreover, elucidating the roles of ovarian hormone loss and hormone therapies on the brain and its functions could lead to novel hormone therapy options that are tailored to alleviating specific symptoms associated with menopause. 17β-estradiol (E2) is the most potent, naturally circulating estrogen in mammals, and it is commonly used as the estrogenic component in hormone therapy for menopause. As early as the 1950s, studies have suggested a beneficial role of estrogens in cognitive and related molecular processes of the central nervous system (e.g., Bimonte and Denenberg, 1999, Caldwell and Watson, 1952, Komnenich et al., 1978, Matsumoto et al., 1985, Singh et al., 1995, Woolley and McEwen, 1993). Today, there are an extensive array of studies aimed at understanding the effects of E2 on learning and memory in humans as well as in animal models (for reviews: Frick, 2015, Koebele and Bimonte-Nelson, 2015, Korol and Pisani, 2015, Maki, 2012, Mennenga and Bimonte-Nelson, 2013, Sherwin, 2006). The ovariectomy (Ovx) model in rodents, whereby the primary source for circulating ovarian hormones, the ovaries, are surgically removed, provides a low circulating ovarian hormone profile or a “blank ovarian hormone slate.” Although some ovarian hormones (e.g., E2 and progesterone) can also be synthesized in the brain (Kretz et al., 2004, Micevych and Sinchak, 2008, Tuscher et al., 2016), the Ovx rodent model can be used to study the cognitive effects of exogenously administered hormone regimens that aim to achieve a specific circulating hormone profile. In Ovx rats, E2 treatment enhanced cognitive performance on a multitude of learning and memory behavioral paradigms, such as the radial-arm maze (Bimonte and Denenberg, 1999, Daniel et al., 1997, Daniel et al., 2006, Fader et al., 1999, Gibbs and Johnson, 2008, Luine et al., 1998, Rodgers et al., 2010), Morris water maze (MWM; Bimonte-Nelson et al., 2006, El-Bakri et al., 2004, Feng et al., 2004, Kiss et al., 2012, Lowry et al., 2010, McLaughlin et al., 2008, Talboom et al., 2008), delayed match-to-position T-maze (Gibbs, 1999, Gibbs, 2000, Gibbs, 2002, Gibbs, 2007, Gibbs et al., 2004), and object placement (Conrad et al., 2012, Frye et al., 2007, Luine et al., 2003, McLaughlin et al., 2008).