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Endocrinology. 2005 May;146(5):2130-9. Epub 2005 Feb 10.

Estrogen target gene regulation and coactivator expression in rat uterus after developmental exposure to the ultraviolet filter 4-methylbenzylidene camphor.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Because the estrogen receptor (ER) ligand type influences transactivation, it is important to obtain information on molecular actions of nonclassical ER agonists. UV filters from cosmetics represent new classes of endocrine active chemicals, including the preferential ER beta ligands 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) and 3-benzylidene camphor. We studied estrogen target gene expression in uterus of Long Evans rats after developmental exposure to 4-MBC (0.7, 7, 24, and 47 mg/kg x d) administered in feed to the parent generation before mating, during pregnancy and lactation, and to the offspring until adulthood. 4-MBC altered steady-state levels of mRNAs encoding for ER alpha, ER beta, progesterone receptor (PR), IGF-I, androgen receptor, determined by real-time RT-PCR in uterus of 12-wk-old offspring. Western-blot analyses of the same tissue homogenates indicated changes in ER alpha and PR but not ER beta proteins. To assess sensitivity to estradiol (E2), offspring were ovariectomized on d 70, injected with E2 (10 or 50 microg/kg sc) on d 84, and killed 6 h later. Acute up-regulation of PR and IGF-I and down-regulation of ER alpha and androgen receptor by E2 were dose-dependently reduced in 4-MBC-exposed rats. The reduced response to E2 was accompanied by reduced coactivator SRC-1 mRNA and protein levels. Our data indicate that developmental exposure to 4-MBC affects the regulation of estrogen target genes and the expression of nuclear receptor coregulators in uterus at mRNA and protein levels.

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