Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatr Res. 2010 Aug;68(2):134-9. doi: 10.1203/00006450-201011001-00260.

Inflammatory effects of phthalates in neonatal neutrophils.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA.


Hospitalized infants are exposed to numerous devices containing the plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Urinary levels of the phthalate metabolite, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), are markedly elevated in premature infants. Phthalates inactivate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma), a nuclear transcription factor that mediates the resolution of inflammation, a process impaired in neonates. We speculate that this increases their susceptibility to MEHP, and this was analyzed. MEHP inhibited neutrophil apoptosis; neonatal cells were more sensitive than adult cells. In neonatal, but not in adult neutrophils, MEHP also inhibited chemotaxis, stimulated oxidative metabolism, and up-regulated expression of NADPH oxidase-1. In both adult and neonatal neutrophils, MEHP stimulated IL-1beta and VEGF production, whereas IL-8 production was stimulated only in adult cells. In contrast, MEHP-inhibited production of MIP-1beta by adult cells, and Regulated on Activation Normal T Cell Expressed and Secreted (RANTES) by neonatal neutrophils. The effects of MEHP on apoptosis and oxidative metabolism in neonatal cells were reversed by the PPAR-gamma agonist, troglitazone. Whereas troglitazone had no effect on MEHP-induced alterations in inflammatory protein or chemokine production, constitutive IL-8 and MIP-1beta production was reduced in adult neutrophils, and RANTES and MIP-1beta in neonatal cells. These findings suggest that neonatal neutrophils are more sensitive to phthalate-mediated inhibition of PPAR-gamma, which may be related to decreased anti-inflammatory signaling.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk