Toxicology letters

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α mediates di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate transgenerational repression of ovarian Esr1 expression in female mice.

PMID 24811840


Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) is a phthalate ester that binds peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) to induce proliferation of peroxisomes and regulate the expression of specific target genes. The question of whether the effect of DEHP on female reproductive processes is mediated via PPARα-dependent signaling is controversial. In this study, we investigated the effect of exposure to DEHP on ovarian expression of estrogen receptor α (Esr1) and aromatase (Cyp19a1) in three generations of Sv/129 wild-type (WT, +/+) and PPARα (-/-) knockout mice. Compared with untreated controls, ovarian expression of Esr1 decreased in response to DEHP treatment in the F0 (0.56-fold, P=0.19), F1 (0.45-fold, P=0.023), and F2 (0.35-fold, P=0.014) generations of WT mice, but not PPARα-null mice. Our data indicate that transgenerational repression by DEHP of ovarian Esr1 gene expression is mediated by PPARα-dependent pathways. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms underlying crosstalk between PPARα and Esr1 signaling in reproductive processes.