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Toxicol Lett. 2013 Dec 16;223(3):315-21. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.03.021. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

In utero phthalate effects in the female rat: a model for MRKH syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Reproductive Toxicology Branch, Toxicology Assessment Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratories, Office of Research and Development, US EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC, United States. Electronic address: Hannas.bethany@epa.gov.


Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is characterized by uterine and vaginal canal aplasia in normal karyotype human females and is a syndrome with poorly defined etiology. Reproductive toxicity of phthalate esters (PEs) occurs in rat offspring exposed in utero, a phenomenon that is better studied in male offspring than females. The current study reports female reproductive tract malformations in the Sprague-Dawley rat similar to those characteristic of MRKH syndrome, following in utero exposure to a mixture of 5 PEs. We determined that females are ∼2-fold less sensitive to the effects of the 5-PE mixture than males for reproductive tract malformations. We were not fully successful in defining the critical exposure period for females; however, incidence of malformations was 88% following dosing from GD8 to 19 versus 22% and 0% for GD8-13 and GD14-19, respectively. Overall, this study provides valuable information regarding female vulnerability to in utero phthalate exposure and further characterizes a potential model for the human MRKH syndrome.

Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Critical period; Reproductive malformations; Uterine

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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