Journal Article

Genomic Biomarkers of Phthalate-Induced Male Reproductive Developmental Toxicity: A Targeted RT-PCR Array Approach for Defining Relative Potency

Bethany R. Hannas, Christy S. Lambright, Johnathan Furr, Nicola Evans, Paul M. D. Foster, Earl L. Gray and Vickie S. Wilson

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 125, issue 2, pages 544-557
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfr315
Genomic Biomarkers of Phthalate-Induced Male Reproductive Developmental Toxicity: A Targeted RT-PCR Array Approach for Defining Relative Potency

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Male rat fetuses exposed to certain phthalate esters (PEs) during sexual differentiation display reproductive tract malformations due to reductions in testosterone (T) production and the expression of steroidogenesis- and INSL3-related genes. In the current study, we used a 96-well real-time PCR array containing key target genes representing sexual determination and differentiation, steroidogenesis, gubernaculum development, and androgen signaling pathways to rank the relative potency of several PEs. We executed dose-response studies with diisobutyl (DIBP), dipentyl (DPeP), dihexyl (DHP), diheptyl (DHeP), diisononyl (DINP), or diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and serial dilutions of a mixture of nine phthalates. All phthalates, with the exception of DIDP, reduced fetal testicular T production. Several genes involved in cholesterol transport, androgen synthesis, and Insl3 also were downregulated in a dose-responsive manner by DIBP, DPeP, DHP, DHeP, DINP, and the 9-PE mixture. Despite speculation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR) involvement in the effects of PEs on the fetal testis, no PPAR-related genes were affected in the fetal testes by exposure to any of the tested PEs. Furthermore, the potent PPARα agonist, Wy-14,643, did not reduce fetal testicular T production following gestational day 14–18 exposure, suggesting that the antiandrogenic activity of PEs is not PPARα mediated. The overall sensitivity of the fetal endpoints (gene expression or T production) for the six phthalates from most to least was Cyp11b1 > Star = Scarb1 > Cyp17a1 = T production > Cyp11a1 = Hsd3b = Insl3 > Cyp11b2. The overall potency of the individual phthalates was DPeP > DHP > DIBP ≥ DHeP > DINP. Finally, the observed mixture interaction was adequately modeled by the dose-addition model for most of the affected genes. Together, these data advance our understanding of the collective reproductive toxicity of the PE compounds.

Keywords: mixture toxicity; antiandrogen; PPAR; phthalate risk assessment

Journal Article.  8979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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