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Arch Toxicol. 2017 Mar;91(3):1279-1292. doi: 10.1007/s00204-016-1790-z. Epub 2016 Jul 12.

Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate impairs steroidogenesis in ovarian follicular cells of prepuberal mice.

Author information

1
College of Life Science, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, 266109, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Animal Reproduction and Germplasm Enhancement in Universities of Shandong, Institute of Reproductive Sciences, College of Animal Science and Technology, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, 266109, China.
3
College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, China.
4
Hospital of School, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, 266109, China.
5
College of Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan, 430023, China.
6
Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133, Rome, Italy.
7
Department of Animal Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36849, USA.
8
Key Laboratory of Animal Reproduction and Germplasm Enhancement in Universities of Shandong, Institute of Reproductive Sciences, College of Animal Science and Technology, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, 266109, China. wshen@qau.edu.cn.

Abstract

Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer which is widely used in the manufacture of plastics. As a common environmental contaminant and recognized endocrine disrupting chemical, DEHP is able to deregulate the functions of a variety of tissues, including the reproductive system both in males and females. In order to investigate the possible effects of DEHP on the first wave of folliculogenesis, occurring in the mouse ovary postnatally, mice were administered 20 or 40 μg/kg DEHP through intraperitoneal injection at days 5, 10 and 15 post partum (dpp). Following DEHP treatment the gene expression profile of control and exposed ovaries was compared by microarray analyses at 20 dpp. We found that in the exposed ovaries DEHP significantly altered the transcript levels of several immune response and steroidogenesis associated genes. In particular, DEHP significantly decreased the expression of genes essential for androgen synthesis by theca cells including Lhcgr, Cyp17a1, Star and Ldlr. Immunohistochemistry and immune flow cytometry confirmed reduced expression of LHCGR and CYP17A1 proteins in the exposed theca cells. These effects were associated to a significant reduction in ovarian concentrations of progesterone, 17β-estradiol and androstenedione along with a reduction of LH in the serum. Although we did not find a significant reduction of the number of primary, secondary or antral follicles in the DEHP exposed ovaries when compared to controls, we did observe that theca cells showed an altered structure of the nuclear envelope, fewer mitochondria, and mitochondria with a reduced number of cristae. Collectively, these results demonstrate a deleterious effect of DEHP exposure on ovarian steroidogenesis during the first wave of folliculogenesis that could potentially affect the correct establishment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and the onset of puberty.

KEYWORDS:

Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate; Folliculogenesis; Pre-puberty mice; Steroidogenesis

PMID:
27405655
DOI:
10.1007/s00204-016-1790-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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