Phthalates are used in building materials, medical devices, and personal care products. Most studies on phthalates have focused on single phthalates, but it is important to study mixtures of phthalates because humans are exposed to such mixtures daily. We tested the hypothesis that phthalate mixture exposure decreases antral follicle growth, compromises steroidogenic capacity, and induces atresia. Antral follicles from adult CD-1 mice were cultured with vehicle control or phthalate mixture (1–500 µg/ml) for 96 h. The mixture was made of 35% diethyl phthalate, 21% di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 15% dibutyl phthalate, 15% diisononyl phthalate, 8% diisobutyl phthalate, and 5% benzylbutyl phthalate. During culture, antral follicle diameters were measured every 24 h to monitor growth. After culture, media were subjected to measurements of sex steroid hormones and follicles were subjected to evaluation of gene expression and atresia. The phthalate mixture (100 and 500 µg/ml) decreased antral follicle growth starting at 24 h compared to controls. The mixture at 10, 100, and 500 µg/ml also decreased androstenedione, testosterone, estrone, and estradiol levels compared to control. The mixture (10, 100, and 500 µg/ml) reduced atresia rating, but it induced more oocyte fragmentation compared to control. The phthalate mixture at different doses adversely affected cell cycle regulators, antioxidant enzymes, apoptotic factors, steroidogenic enzymes, and receptors. Collectively, these data indicate that exposure to an environmentally relevant phthalate mixture reduces antral follicle growth, induces oocyte fragmentation, and decreases hormone production by adversely affecting the expression of cell cycle regulators, apoptotic factors, steroidogenic enzymes, and receptors.
Toxicological Sciences – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2017
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