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Biomed Environ Sci. 2013 Dec;26(12):986-9. doi: 10.3967/bes2013.034.

Effects of low concentrations of di-(2-ethylhexyl) and mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate on steroidogenesis pathways and apoptosis in the murine leydig tumor cell line MLTC-1.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300070, China.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of low concentrations of DEHP and MEHP on steroidogenesis in a murine Leydig tumor cell line (MLTC-1) in vitro. The result of flow cytometry analysis revealed that the proportion of apoptotic cells was significantly increased after the exposure to DEHP. All three genes (P450scc, P450c17, and 3βHSD) under study showed an increased expression following exposure to DEHP or MEHP, although some insignificant inhibitory effects appeared in the 10 μmol/L treatment group as compared with the controls. It was also found that compared with the controls. It was also found that DEHP or MEHP stimulated INSL3 mRNA and protein especially in the 0.001 μmol/L treatment group. Testosterone secretions were stimulated after the exposure to DEHP or MEHP. Alternations of steroidogenic enzymes and INSL3 in MLTC-1 cells might be involved in the biphasic effects of DEHP/MEHP on androgen production.

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