Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology

Food emulsifier polysorbate 80 increases intestinal absorption of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in rats.

PMID 24675089


The aim of the present research was to explore whether food emulsifier polysorbate 80 can enhance the absorption of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and its possible mechanism. We established the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for detecting DEHP and its major metabolite, mono-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) in rat plasma, and then examined the toxicokinetic and bioavailability of DEHP with or without polysorbate 80 in rats. The study of its mechanism to increase the absorption of phthalates demonstrated that polysorbate 80 can induce mitochondrial dysfunction in time- and concentration-dependence manners in Caco-2 cells by reducing mitochondrial membrane potential, diminishing the production of the adenosine triphosphate, and decreasing the activity of electron transport chain. Our results indicated that food emulsifier applied in relatively high concentrations in even the most frequently consumed foods can increase the absorption of DEHP, and its role may be related to the structure and function damages of mitochondria in enterocytes.