Toxicology and industrial health

Assessment of estrogenic potential of di-n-butyl phthalate and butyl benzyl phthalate in vivo.

PMID 23833243


Phthalate compounds are widely used industrial chemicals; when incorporated into polyvinyl chloride, they are not covalently bound and released into the surrounding media. Some of them have estrogenic potential in vitro but data on in vivo studies are scanty. For the 3-day uterotrophic assay, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP;10 and 100 mg/kg), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP; 20 and 200 mg/kg), and diethylstilbestrol (DES, 40 µg/kg, positive control) were administered orally to immature female rats for three consecutive days from postnatal day (PND) 21. For the 20-day pubertal onset assay, DBP (10 and 20 mg/kg), BBP (20 and 200 mg/kg), and DES (6 µg/kg) were administered orally from PND 21 daily for 20 days. In the uterotrophic assay, in groups treated with higher dose of DBP and BBP, the uterine wet weight significantly decreased in the higher dose, and there were minor variations in the ovary wet weight, while the wet weight of these organs increased significantly in DES-treated group. In the 20-day pubertal assay, the weight of uterus and ovary declined significantly and changes in vaginal weight were nonsignificant in DBP- and BBP-treated groups. However, in DES-treated group nonsignificant elevation in vagina weight was observed. All the DES-treated animals showed the vaginal opening (VO) on day 26.17 ± 0.16. However, VO was not observed in any of the animals in control, vehicle control, BBP-, and DBP-treated groups up to PND 42, except in one animal each in vehicle control and DBP (100 mg/kg)-treated groups. The data indicated that both DBP and BBP were unable to induce elevation in the uterine and ovarian weight. While DES treatment can accelerate the growth of uterus and ovary and alter the onset of puberty and estrous cyclicity in prepubertal rats. These suggest that these compounds may not have estrogenic potential in vivo.

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