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Toxicol Lett. 2013 Feb 13;217(1):50-8. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.11.025. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Biological impact of phthalates.

Author information

1
Toxicology Center, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. mankidy@gmail.com

Abstract

Esters of phthalic acid are chemical agents used to improve the plasticity of industrial polymers. Their ubiquitous use in multiple commercial products results in extensive exposure to humans and the environment. This study investigated cytotoxicity, endocrine disruption, effects mediated via AhR, lipid peroxidation and effects on expression of enzymes of xenobiotic metabolism caused by di-(2-ethy hexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) in developing fish embryos. Oxidative stress was identified as the critical mechanism of toxicity (CMTA) in the case of DEHP and DEP, while the efficient removal of DBP and BBP by phase 1 enzymes resulted in lesser toxicity. DEHP and DEP did not mimic estradiol (E(2)) in transactivation studies, but at concentrations of 10mg/L synthesis of sex steroid hormones was affected. Exposure to 10mg BBP/L resulted in weak transactivation of the estrogen receptor (ER). All phthalates exhibited weak potency as agonists of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The order of potency of the 4 phthalates studied was; DEHP>DEP>BBP>>DBP. The study highlights the need for simultaneous assessment of: (1) multiple cellular targets affected by phthalates and (2) phthalate mixtures to account for additive effects when multiple phthalates modulate the same pathway. Such cumulative assessment of multiple biological parameters is more realistic, and offers the possibility of more accurately identifying the CMTA.

PMID:
23220035
DOI:
10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.11.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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