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Title: The estrogenic activity of phthalate esters in vitro
Authors: Harris, CA
Henttu, P
Parker, MG
Sumpter, JP
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Science
Citation: Environ Health Perspect. 1997 August; 105(8): 802–811
Abstract: A large number of phthalate esters were screened for estrogenic activity using a recombinant yeast screen. a selection of these was also tested for mitogenic effect on estrogen-responsive human breast cancer cells. A small number of the commercially available phthalates tested showed extremely weak estrogenic activity. The relative potencies of these descended in the order butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) > dibutyl phthalate (DBP) > diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) > diethyl phthalate (DEP) > diisiononyl phthalate (DINP). Potencies ranged from approximately 1 x 10(6) to 5 x 10(7) times less than 17beta-estradiol. The phthalates that were estrogenic in the yeast screen were also mitogenic on the human breast cancer cells. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) showed no estrogenic activity in these in vitro assays. A number of metabolites were tested, including mono-butyl phthalate, mono-benzyl phthalate, mono-ethylhexyl phthalate, mon-n-octyl phthalate; all were wound to be inactive. One of the phthalates, ditridecyl phthalate (DTDP), produced inconsistent results; one sample was weakly estrogenic, whereas another, obtained from a different source, was inactive. analysis by gel chromatography-mass spectometry showed that the preparation exhibiting estrogenic activity contained 0.5% of the ortho-isomer of bisphenol A. It is likely that the presence of this antioxidant in the phthalate standard was responsible for the generation of a dose-response curve--which was not observed with an alternative sample that had not been supplemented with o,p'-bisphenol A--in the yeast screen; hence, DTDP is probably not weakly estrogenic. The activities of simple mixtures of BBP, DBP, and 17beta-estradiol were assessed in the yeast screen. No synergism was observed, although the activities of the mixtures were approximately additive. In summary, a small number of phthalates are weakly estrogenic in vitro. No data has yet been published on whether these are also estrogenic in vitro. No data has yet been published on whether these are also estrogenic in vivo; this will require tests using different classes of vertebrates and different routes of exposure.
metadata.dc.relation.isreplacedby: 2438/15182
Appears in Collections:Environment
Institute for the Environment

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