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  • In utero exposure to the endocrine disruptor di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate induces long-term changes in gene expression in the adult male adrenal gland.

In utero exposure to the endocrine disruptor di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate induces long-term changes in gene expression in the adult male adrenal gland.

Endocrinology (2014-02-26)
D B Martinez-Arguelles, E Campioli, C Lienhart, J Fan, M Culty, B R Zirkin, V Papadopoulos
ABSTRACT

The plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is used to add flexibility to polyvinylchloride polymers and as a component of numerous consumer and medical products. DEHP and its metabolites have been detected in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood, suggesting fetal exposure. In the present study, we used an in utero exposure model in which pregnant rat dams were exposed to 1- to 300-mg DEHP/kg·d from gestational day 14 until birth. We previously reported that this window of exposure to environmentally relevant doses of DEHP resulted in reduced levels of serum testosterone and aldosterone in adult male offspring and that the effects on aldosterone were sustained in elderly rats and resulted in decreased blood pressure. Here, we characterized the long-term effects of in utero DEHP exposure by performing global gene expression analysis of prepubertal (postnatal d 21) and adult (postnatal d 60) adrenal glands. We found that the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and lipid metabolism pathways were affected by DEHP exposure. Expression of 2 other DEHP targets, hormone-sensitive lipase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (Pck1), correlated with reduced aldosterone levels and may account for the inhibitory effect of DEHP on adrenal steroid formation. The angiotensin II and potassium pathways were up-regulated in response to DEHP. In addition, the potassium intermediate/small conductance calcium-activated channel Kcnn2 and 2-pore-domain potassium channel Knck5 were identified as DEHP targets. Based on this gene expression analysis, we measured fatty acid-binding protein 4 and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 in sera from control and DEHP-exposed rats and identified both proteins as putative serum biomarkers of in utero DEHP exposure. These results shed light on molecular targets that mediate DEHP long-term effects and, in doing so, provide means by which to assess past DEHP exposure.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, PESTANAL®, analytical standard
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Selectophore
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, certified reference material, TraceCERT®, Manufactured by: Sigma-Aldrich Production GmbH, Switzerland
Plastic additive 01, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard
Sigma-Aldrich
Dioctyl phthalate, ≥99.5%
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate solution, certified reference material, 2000 μg/mL in methanol
Sigma-Aldrich
Aldosterone, ≥95% (HPLC)
Supelco
Aldosterone solution, 100 μg/mL in acetonitrile, ampule of 1 mL, certified reference material, Cerilliant®