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Obes Facts. 2014;7(1):48-56. doi: 10.1159/000358913. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Adipogenic effects of a combination of the endocrine-disrupting compounds bisphenol A, diethylhexylphthalate, and tributyltin.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale), Germany.



The food contaminants bisphenol A (BPA), diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), and tributyltin (TBT) are potent endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDC) known to interfere with adipogenesis. EDC usually act in mixtures and not as single compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a simultaneous exposure of BPA, DEHP, and TBT on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into adipocytes.


Multipotent murine mesenchymal stem cells (C3H10T1/2) were exposed to EDC mixtures in high concentrations, i.e. MIX-high (10 µmol/l BPA, 100 µmol/l DEHP, 100 nmol/l TBT), and in environmentally relevant concentrations, i.e. MIX-low (10 nmol/l BPA, 100 nmol/l DEHP, 1 nmol/l TBT). The exposure was performed either for the entire culture time (0-12 days) or at distinct stages of adipogenic differentiation. At day 12 of cell culture, the amount of adipocytes, triglyceride content (TG), and adipogenic marker gene expression were analyzed.


MIX-high increased the development of adipocytes and the expression of adipogenic marker genes independently of the exposure window. The total TG amount was not increased. The low-concentrated EDC mixture had no obvious impact on adipogenesis.


In EDC mixtures, the adipogenic effect of TBT and DEHP predominates single effects of BPA. Mixture effects of EDC are not deducible from single compound experiments.

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