Toxicology letters

Effects of 2-ethylhexanoic acid on the production of reactive oxygen species in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes in vitro.

PMID 11033236


2-Ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHA), is an industrial chemical and a toxic biotransformation product of the plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. Its immunological effects are unknown. 2-EHA resembles structurally C18 fatty acids, which are known activators of respiratory burst in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL). Therefore, we exposed PMNL to 2-EHA in vitro and measured the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and explored the associated cellular mechanisms. 2-EHA (10-2000 microM) inhibited dose-dependently formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP)-induced respiratory burst in PMNL. Moreover, 2-EHA decreased oxidative burst evoked by the protein kinase C (PKC) activators, phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and dioctanoyl-s,n-glycerol (DIC(8)). 2-EHA affected neither the levels of free intracellular calcium nor inhibited PKC. The results indicate that 2-EHA inhibits activation of PMNL to produce ROS, i.e. has an immunosuppressive effect in vitro. The site of action in the PKC is after activation of this enzyme.