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Toxicology. 2004 Dec 1;205(1-2):65-73.

Whole body action of xenoestrogens with different chemical structures in estrogen reporter male mice.

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3rd Laboratory/Biotechnology, Civic Hospital of Brescia, Brescia 25123, Italy.


The present work tested the estrogenic activity of three weak environmental estrogens p,p'DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane], p,p'DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene] and betaBHC [beta-benzene-hexachloride] in the transgenic estrogen-reporter mouse model (ERE-tK-LUC). By a time dependent analysis of the transgenic reporter expression (luciferase), we showed that all these chemicals modulated the estrogen receptors (ERs) in the whole body, although with a different efficacy and depending upon the tissue analyzed. Peak activity was registered at 16 h of treatment with 5000 microg/kg of each compound. Organochlorines are lipophylic molecules that accumulate in fat. During weight loss they are mobilized and their concentration increases in blood. We tested whether after experimental accumulation in fat tissue, followed by a 48 h period of fasting, these compounds could be modulated to reach sufficient levels to activate the ERs in target tissues. This experimental setting produced results that were different from those obtained following acute treatments. In loaded mice, fasting induced betaBHC mobilization resulted in strong ER activation in the liver, lung, eye, cerebellum, hypothalamus and cortex. p,p'DDT mobilization had no effect in these tissues, but efficiently acted in the testis, where, on the contrary, betaBHC inhibited reporter expression. During fasting, betaBHC, p,p'DDT and the metabolite p,p'DDE increased in blood concentration, from 2.7 +/- 0.36, 0.65 +/- 0.01 and 0.48 +/- 0.06 microg/ml to 9.51 +/- 1.1, 4.98 +/- 0.77 and 6.0 +/- 0.71 microg/ml, respectively. We conclude that these organochlorines modulate differently the expression of estrogen regulated genes in a tissue- and compound-specific manner and that their action is dependent on the energy balance. Moreover, we show that this mouse model is suitable to detect the estrogenic activity of chemicals with variable structures such as alkyl phenols and polychlorobiphenyls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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