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Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Jan;42(1):107-14.

Comparison of oxidative stress and changes of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes induced by phthalates in rats.

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Toxicology Department, National Institute of Toxicological Research, Korea Food and Drug Administration, 5 Nokbundong, Eunpyunggu, Seoul 122-704, South Korea.


Phthalates are widely used as a plasticizer and cause a peroxisome proliferation. Peroxisome proliferators (PPs), such as di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and clofibrate (CF) are known to have a hepatocarcinogenic potential in rodents. It has been proposed that these PPs may cause hepatocellular cancer by an oxidative damage-mediated mechanism(s). The primary purpose of this study is to find whether there is a difference between the oxidative damage by hepatocarcinogenic PPs (DEHP and CF) and the oxidative damage by weak PPs [di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and n-butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP)]. The second purpose is to investigate if phthalates can affect the phase I/phase II enzymes, and if the effect of PPs on metabolizing enzymes correlates with peroxisome proliferation or not. After rats were treated with PPs (DEHP, DBP and BBP; 50, 200, 1000 mg/kg, CF; 100 mg/kg, p.o., for 14 days), the activities of metabolizing enzymes and peroxisomal enzymes were investigated, and the oxidative damage was measured using 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in the DNA and malonedialdehyde (MDA) in the livers. These four PPs significantly increased the relative liver weights, palmitoyl-CoA oxidation and activity of carnitine acetyltransferase. DEHP was found to be the most potent PP among three phthalates. A dramatic and dose-dependent increase in hepatic MDA levels was observed in CF (100 mg/kg), DEHP (>or=50 mg/kg), DBP and BBP (>or=200 mg/kg) groups. However, the 8-OHdG in hepatic DNA was increased only in DEHP (1000 mg/kg) and CF groups. Activities of cytochrome p4501A1, 1A2, 3A4, UDP-glucuronosyl transferase and glutathione S-transferase were decreased overall by PPs, but there is no correlation between the inhibitory effect on metabolizing enzymes and the peroxisome proliferation. These results indicate that 8-OHdG positively correlates with carcinogenic potential of PPs, but other factors as well as peroxisomal H(2)O(2) could be involved in the generation of 8-OHdG and the carcinogenesis of PPs. The present findings also demonstrate that the effect of PPs on xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes may be independent of the peroxisome proliferation and the oxidative stress. Thus it is possible that the PPs affect the hepatic toxification/detoxification capacity even in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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