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Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Jul 30;174(2):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2008.03.019. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Food-associated estrogenic compounds induce estrogen receptor-mediated luciferase gene expression in transgenic male mice.

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Wageningen University, Postbox 8000, 6700 EA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The present paper aims at clarifying to what extent seven food-associated compounds, shown before to be estrogenic in vitro, can induce estrogenic effects in male mice with an estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated luciferase (luc) reporter gene system. The luc induction was determined in different tissues 8h after dosing the ER-luc male mice intraperitoneally (IP) or 14h after oral dosing. Estradiol-propionate (EP) was used as a positive control at 0.3 and 1mg/kg bodyweight (bw), DMSO as solvent control. The food-associated estrogenic compounds tested at non-toxic doses were bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenol (NP) (both at 10 and 50mg/kgbw), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; at 5 and 25mg/kgbw), quercetin (at 1.66 and 16.6mg/kgbw), di-isoheptyl phthalate (DIHP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA) all at 30 and 100mg/kgbw. In general IP dosing resulted in higher luc inductions than oral dosing. EP induced luc activity in the liver in a statistically significant dose-related way with the highest induction of all compounds tested which was 20,000 times higher than the induction by the DMSO-control. NP, DDE, DEHA and DIHP did not induce luc activity in any of the tissues tested. BPA induced luc in the liver up to 420 times via both exposure routes. BPA, DEHP and quercetin induced luc activity in the liver after oral exposure. BPA (50mg/kgbw IP) also induced luc activity in the testis, kidneys and tibia. The current study reveals that biomarker-responses in ER-luc male mice occur after a single oral exposure to food-associated estrogenic model compounds at exposure levels 10 to 10(4) times higher than the established TDI's for some of these compounds. Given the facts that (i) the present study did not include chronic exposure and that (ii) simultaneous exposure to multiple estrogenic compounds may be a realistic exposure scenario, it remains to be seen whether this margin is sufficiently high.

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