• Do oestrogens induce chromosome specific aneuploidy in vitro, similar to the pattern of aneuploidy seen in breast cancer?
    • Quick, Parry and Parry
    • Mutat Res
    • Abstract

    The study was concerned with investigating the specific effects of non-DNA reactive oestrogens at low "biologically relevant" doses and the causative role they may play in breast cancer through inducing aneuploidy. A review of previous studies identified a non-random pattern of aneuploidy seen in breast cancers. This information was used to select those chromosomes that undergo copy number changes in breast cancer and chromosomes that appear stable. A panel of centromeric specific probes were selected and centromeric specific fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) was carried out on the human lymphoblastoid cell line, AHH-1, which had been pre-treated with the chemical aneugens 17-beta oestradiol, diethylstilbestrol (DES) and bisphenol-A (BP-A). The results suggest that oestrogens may play a causative role in breast cancer by inducing a specific pattern of aneuploidy similar to that seen in breast carcinomas. 17-beta oestradiol appears to induce changes most similar to those seen in breast tumours, BP-A induces the same pattern but at a lower frequency and DES appears to be less chromosome specific in its act.

    • Drinking water with uranium below the U.S. EPA water standard causes estrogen receptor-dependent responses in female mice.
    • Raymond-Whish, Mayer, O'Neal, Martinez, Sellers, Christian, Marion, Begay, Propper, Hoyer and Dyer
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 115 : 12
    • Abstract

    BACKGROUND: The deleterious impact of uranium on human health has been linked to its radioactive and heavy metal-chemical properties. Decades of research has defined the causal relationship between uranium mining/milling and onset of kidney and respiratory diseases 25 years later. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the hypothesis that uranium, similar to other heavy metals such as cadmium, acts like estrogen. METHODS: In several experiments, we exposed intact, ovariectomized, or pregnant mice to depleted uranium in drinking water [ranging from 0.5 microg/L (0.001 microM) to 28 mg/L (120 microM). RESULTS: Mice that drank uranium-containing water exhibited estrogenic responses including selective reduction of primary follicles, increased uterine weight, greater uterine luminal epithelial cell height, accelerated vaginal opening, and persistent presence of cornified vaginal cells. Coincident treatment with the antiestrogen ICI 182,780 blocked these responses to uranium or the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol. In addition, mouse dams that drank uranium-containing water delivered grossly normal pups, but they had significantly fewer primordial follicles than pups whose dams drank control tap water. CONCLUSIONS: Because of the decades of uranium mining/milling in the Colorado plateau in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, the uranium concentration and the route of exposure used in these studies are environmentally relevant. Our data support the conclusion that uranium is an endocrine-disrupting chemical and populations exposed to environmental uranium should be followed for increased risk of fertility problems and reproductive cancers.

    • Genotoxic effects of environmental estrogen-like compounds in CHO-K1 cells.
    • Tayama, Nakagawa and Tayama
    • Mutat Res
    • 649 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    Some environmental estrogen-like compounds, such as bisphenol A (BPA), 4-nonylphenol (NP), 4-octylphenol (OP), propyl p-hydroxybenzoate (P-PHBA), and butyl p-hydroxybenzoate (B-PHBA), synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES), and natural estrogen, 17beta-estradiol (E2), were studied for their genotoxicity in CHO-K1 cells using sister-chromatid exchange (SCE), chromosome aberration (CA), and DNA strand break (comet) assays. Six of the chemicals, excluding E2, caused DNA migration in the comet assay and induced SCEs at one or more of the highest doses. Among the chemicals, OP produced an especially high incidence of SCEs. Structural CA was induced by five of the chemicals, excluding OP and NP, and BPA, E2, and DES also induced aneuploid cells. E2 and DES particularly increased the rate of polyploidy at high doses. The incidence of colchicine-mitosis-like (c-mitotic) figures suggesting spindle disrupting effects was also detected with five of the chemicals, excluding OP and NP, and six of the chemicals, excluding E2, caused endoreduplication (ERD), a form of nuclear polyploidization induced by block of cell cycle at G2 phase, at one or more high doses. Our present results suggest that OP and NP cause repairable DNA damage, including SCEs, and do not result in CA, while the damage caused by DES, BPA, P-PHBA, and B-PHBA results in the induction of CAs together with SCEs probably because of imperfect repair. We are unable to explain the observation that the DNA damage caused by E2 resulted in CA induction but not DNA migration or SCE induction, except for speculating that the DNA damage is different from that caused by DES and the estrogen-like chemicals. Our findings also suggest that E2, DES and BPA have aneuploidogenic properties, and that the former two of chemicals also are polyploidy-inducing agents.

    • Identification of a transcriptional fingerprint of estrogen exposure in rainbow trout liver.
    • Benninghoff and Williams
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 101 : 1
    • Abstract

    The goal of this study was to identify a set of hepatic genes regulated by ligand-dependent activation of the estrogen receptor in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). A custom rainbow trout oligo DNA microarray, which contains probes targeting approximately 1450 genes relevant to carcinogenesis, toxicology, endocrinology, and stress physiology was utilized to identify transcriptional fingerprints of in vivo dietary exposure to 17 beta-estradiol (E2), tamoxifen (TAM), estradiol + tamoxifen (E2 + TAM), diethylstilbestrol (DES), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and cortisol (CORT). Estrogen exposure altered the expression of up to 49 genes involved in reproduction, immune response, cell growth, transcriptional regulation, protein synthesis and modification, drug metabolism, redox regulation, and signal transduction. E2, DES, and DHEA regulated 18 genes in common, mostly those associated with vitellogenesis, cell proliferation, and signal transduction. Interestingly, DHEA uniquely regulated several complement component genes of importance to immune response. While the effect of TAM on E2-induced changes in gene expression was mostly antagonistic, TAM alone increased expression of VTG1 and other genes associated with egg development and immune response. Few genes responded to CORT treatment, and DHT significantly altered expression of only one gene targeted by the OSUrbt array. Hierarchical cluster and principal components analyses revealed distinct patterns of gene expression corresponding to estrogens and non-estrogens, though unique patterns could also be detected for individual chemicals. A set of estrogen-responsive genes has been identified that can serve as a biomarker of environmental exposure to xenoestrogens.

    • Secondary sex ratio among women exposed to diethylstilbestrol in utero.
    • Wise, Palmer, Hatch, Troisi, Titus-Ernstoff, Herbst, Kaufman, Noller and Hoover
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 115 : 9
    • Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen widely prescribed to pregnant women during the mid-1900s, is a potent endocrine disruptor. Previous studies have suggested an association between endocrine-disrupting compounds and secondary sex ratio. METHODS: Data were provided by women participating in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) DES Combined Cohort Study. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the relation of in utero DES exposure to sex ratio (proportion of male births). Models were adjusted for maternal age, child's birth year, parity, and cohort, and accounted for clustering among women with multiple pregnancies. RESULTS: The OR for having a male birth comparing DES-exposed to unexposed women was 1.05 (95% CI, 0.95-1.17). For exposed women with complete data on cumulative DES dose and timing (33%), those first exposed to DES earlier in gestation and to higher doses had the highest odds of having a male birth. The ORs were 0.91 (95% C, 0.65-1.27) for first exposure at > or = 13 weeks gestation to < 5 g DES; 0.95 (95% CI, 0.71-1.27) for first exposure at > or = 13 weeks to > or = 5 g; 1.16 (95% CI, 0.96-1.41) for first exposure at < 13 weeks to < 5 g; and 1.24 (95% CI, 1.04-1.48) for first exposure at < 13 weeks to > or = 5 g compared with no exposure. Results did not vary appreciably by maternal age, parity, cohort, or infertility history. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, no association was observed between in utero DES exposure and secondary sex ratio, but a significant increase in the proportion of male births was found among women first exposed to DES earlier in gestation and to a higher cumulative dose.

    • Cytotoxic effects and aromatase inhibition by xenobiotic endocrine disrupters alone and in combination.
    • Benachour, Moslemi, Sipahutar and Seralini
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 222 : 2
    • Abstract

    Xenobiotics may cause long-term adverse effects in humans, especially at the embryonic level, raising questions about their levels of exposure, combined effects, and crucial endpoints. We are interested in the possible interactions between xenobiotic endocrine disrupters, cellular viability and androgen metabolism. Accordingly, we tested aroclor 1254 (A1254), atrazine (AZ), o,p'-DDT, vinclozolin (VZ), p,p'-DDE, bisphenol A (BPA), chlordecone (CD), nonylphenol (NP), tributylin oxide (TBTO), and diethylstilbestrol (DES) for cellular toxicity against human embryonic 293 cells, and activity against cellular aromatase, but also on placental microsomes and on the purified equine enzyme. Cellular viability was affected in 24 h by all the xenobiotics with a threshold at 50 microM (except for TBTO and DES, 10 microM threshold), and aromatase was inhibited at non-toxic doses. In combination synergism was observed reducing the threshold values of toxicity to 4-10 microM, and aromatase activity by 50% in some cases. In placental microsomes the most active xenobiotics rapidly inhibited microsomal aromatase in a manner independent of NADPH metabolism. Prolonged exposures to low doses in cells generally amplified by 50 times aromatase inhibition. These xenobiotics may act by inhibition of the active site or by allosteric effects on the enzyme. Bioaccumulation is a feature of some xenobiotics, especially chlordecone, DDT and DDE, and low level chronic exposures can also affect cell signaling mechanisms. This new information about the mechanism of action of these xenobiotics will assist in improved molecular design with a view to providing safer compounds for use in the (human) environment.

    • Developmental changes in testicular sensitivity to estrogens throughout fetal and neonatal life.
    • Delb¨¨s, Duquenne, Szenker, Taccoen, Habert and Levacher
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 99 : 1
    • Abstract

    There is now compelling evidence that inappropriate exposure to estrogen during fetal or neonatal life could affect adult reproductive functions because the testis is sensitive to estrogens during specific periods of its development. Therefore, we investigated the effects of exogenous estrogens on gametogenesis and steroidogenesis during fetal and neonatal testicular development in the rat. We used in vitro systems, organ cultures, and dispersed testicular cell cultures, which allow the development of fetal and neonatal germ cells (gonocytes) and Leydig cells. Exogenous estrogens inhibited testosterone production in dispersed testicular cell cultures throughout fetal life, but this inhibition was observed only in the early fetal stages in organ culture. By using an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole, Novartis Pharma AG), we showed that the inhibitory effect of exogenous estrogens on testosterone production is masked in the whole testis at later stages (20.5 days postconception) due essentially to local production of estrogens. In both systems, additions of high concentrations (10(-6) M) of 17beta-estradiol or diethylstilbestrol decreased the number of gonocytes during the first fetal proliferative period but not during the neonatal period. Letrozole was without effect, suggesting that the aging-related loss of responsiveness of gonocytes is not due to any aromatase activity in the gonocytes.

    • Transplacental arsenic carcinogenesis in mice.
    • Waalkes, Liu and Diwan
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 222 : 3
    • Abstract

    Our work has focused on the carcinogenic effects of in utero arsenic exposure in mice. Our data show that a short period of maternal exposure to inorganic arsenic in the drinking water is an effective, multi-tissue carcinogen in the adult offspring. These studies have been reproduced in three temporally separate studies using two different mouse strains. In these studies pregnant mice were treated with drinking water containing sodium arsenite at up to 85 ppm arsenic from days 8 to 18 of gestation, and the offspring were observed for up to 2 years. The doses used in all these studies were well tolerated by both the dam and offspring. In C3H mice, two separate studies show male offspring exposed to arsenic in utero developed liver carcinoma and adrenal cortical adenoma in a dose-related fashion during adulthood. Prenatally exposed female C3H offspring show dose-related increases in ovarian tumors and lung carcinoma and in proliferative lesions (tumors plus preneoplastic hyperplasia) of the uterus and oviduct. In addition, prenatal arsenic plus postnatal exposure to the tumor promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in C3H mice produces excess lung tumors in both sexes and liver tumors in females. Male CD1 mice treated with arsenic in utero develop tumors of the liver and adrenal and renal hyperplasia while females develop tumors of urogenital system, ovary, uterus and adrenal and hyperplasia of the oviduct. Additional postnatal treatment with diethylstilbestrol or tamoxifen after prenatal arsenic in CD1 mice induces urinary bladder transitional cell proliferative lesions, including carcinoma and papilloma, and enhances the carcinogenic response in the liver of both sexes. Overall this model has provided convincing evidence that arsenic is a transplacental carcinogen in mice with the ability to target tissues of potential human relevance, such as the urinary bladder, lung and liver. Transplacental carcinogenesis clearly occurs with other agents in humans and investigating a potential transplacental component of the human carcinogenic response to arsenic should be a research priority.

    • Identification of previously unrecognized antiestrogenic chemicals using a novel virtual screening approach.
    • Wang, Ai, Arora, Erenrich, Nagarajan, Zauhar, Young and Welsh
    • Chem Res Toxicol
    • 19 : 12
    • Abstract

    The physiological roles of estrogen in sexual differentiation and development, female and male reproductive processes, and bone health are complex and diverse. Numerous natural and synthetic chemical compounds, commonly known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), have been shown to alter the physiological effects of estrogen in humans and wildlife. As such, these EDCs may cause unanticipated and even undesirable effects. Large-scale in vitro and in vivo screening of chemicals to assess their estrogenic activity would demand a prodigious investment of time, labor, and money and would require animal testing on an unprecedented scale. Approaches in silico are increasingly recognized as playing a vital role in screening and prioritizing chemicals to extend limited resources available for experimental testing. Here, we evaluated a multistep procedure that is suitable for in silico (virtual) screening of large chemical databases to identify compounds exhibiting estrogenic activity. This procedure incorporates Shape Signatures, a novel computational tool that rapidly compares molecules on the basis of similarity in shape, polarity, and other bio-relevant properties. Using 4-hydroxy tamoxifen (4-OH TAM) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) as input queries, we employed this scheme to search a sample database of approximately 200,000 commercially available organic chemicals for matches (hits). Of the eight compounds identified computationally as potentially (anti)estrogenic, biological evaluation confirmed two as heretofore unknown estrogen antagonists. Subsequent radioligand binding assays confirmed that two of these three compounds exhibit antiestrogenic activities comparable to 4-OH TAM. Molecular modeling studies of these ligands docked inside the binding pocket of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) elucidated key ligand-receptor interactions that corroborate these experimental findings. The present study demonstrates the utility of our computational scheme for this and related applications in drug discovery, predictive toxicology, and virtual screening.

    • Diallyl sulfide induces the expression of estrogen metabolizing genes in the presence and/or absence of diethylstilbestrol in the breast of female ACI rats.
    • Green, Newell, Aboyade-Cole, Darling-Reed and Thomas
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 168 : 1
    • Abstract

    Diethylstilbestrol (DES) induces mammary tumors in female ACI rats and is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer in humans. Diallyl sulfide (DAS) has been shown to prevent cancer in animals. Previously, we have shown that DAS inhibits the production of DES induced DNA adducts when given prior to DES. We hypothesize that DAS alters the expression of genes responsible for DES metabolism. To test this hypothesis, four groups of 10 female ACI rats were treated daily for four days as follows: (1) corn oil, (2) 50mg/kg DES, (3) 50mg/kg DAS, and (4) 50mg/kg DAS+50mg/kg DES. RNA was isolated from breast tissue and mRNA levels of CYP1A1, CYP1B1, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were analyzed by real-time PCR. DES, DAS, and DES/DAS treatments increased the expression of CYP1A1 by 2.1-, 4.7-, and 12.7-fold, respectively. Similar results were seen for CYP1B1. DES decreased the expression of GST by 23%, whereas DAS and DAS/DES treatments increased the expression of GST by 12- and 16.7-fold, respectively. Similar results were seen with SOD. These results suggests that DAS may prevent the formation of DES induced DNA damage by altering the expression of DES metabolizing genes.

    • Diallyl sulfide induces the expression of nucleotide excision repair enzymes in the breast of female ACI rats.
    • Green, Newell, Aboyade-Cole, Darling-Reed and Thomas
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 168 : 1
    • Abstract

    Diethylstilbestrol (DES) causes DNA adducts resulting in breast cancer, whereas diallyl sulfide (DAS) inhibits cancer formation. We hypothesize that DAS induces the expression of nucleotide excision repair genes. To test this hypothesis, female ACI rats were treated for 4 days with corn oil, DES, DAS, and DAS/DES (50mg/kg). The expression of P53, Gadd45a, PCNA, and DNA polymerase delta was analyzed by real-time PCR. DES decreased the expression of P53, Gadd45a and PCNA. DAS and DAS/DES increased the expression of all four genes. These results suggest that DAS enhances the ability of breast tissue to repair DNA damage thus preventing cancer.

    • Endocrine disruptor bisphenol A strongly binds to human estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERRgamma) with high constitutive activity.
    • Takayanagi, Tokunaga, Liu, Okada, Matsushima and Shimohigashi
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 167 : 2
    • Abstract

    Bisphenol A (BPA) has been acknowledged as an estrogenic chemical able to interact with human estrogen receptors (ER). Many lines of evidence reveal that BPA has an impact as an endocrine disruptor even at low doses. However, its binding to ER and hormonal activity is extremely weak, making the intrinsic significance of low dose effects obscure. We thus supposed that BPA might interact with nuclear receptor(s) other than ER. Here we show that BPA strongly binds to human estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERRgamma), an orphan receptor and one of 48 human nuclear receptors. In a binding assay using [3H]4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) as a tracer, BPA exhibited a definite dose-dependent receptor binding curve with the IC50 value of 13.1 nM. 4-Nonylphenol and diethylstilbestrol were considerably weaker (5-50-fold less than BPA). When examined in the reporter gene assay for ERRgamma using HeLa cells, BPA completely preserved ERRgamma's high constitutive activity. Notably, BPA exhibited a distinct antagonist action to reverse the inverse agonist activity of 4-OHT, retaining high basal activity. ERRgamma is expressed in a tissue-restricted manner, for example very strongly in the mammalian brain during development, and in the adult in the brain, lung and other tissues. It will now be important to evaluate whether BPA's hitherto reported low dose effects may be mediated through ERRgamma.

    • SFTG international collaborative study on in vitro micronucleus test I. General conditions and overall conclusions of the study.
    • Lorge, Thybaud, Aardema, Oliver, Wakata, Lorenzon and Marzin
    • Mutat Res
    • 607 : 1
    • Abstract

    This study, coordinated by the SFTG (French branch of European Environmental Mutagen Society), included 38 participants from Europe, Japan and America. Clastogens (bleomycin, urethane), including base and nucleoside analogs (5-fluorouracil and cytosine arabinoside), aneugens and/or polyploidy inducers (colchicine, diethylstilboestrol, griseofulvin and thiabendazole), as well as non-genotoxic compounds (mannitol and clofibrate), were tested. Four cell types were used, i.e. human lymphocytes in the presence of cytochalasin B and CHO, CHL and L5178Y cell lines, in the presence or absence of cytochalasin B, with various treatment-recovery schedules. Mitomycin C was used as a positive control for all cell types. Mannitol and clofibrate were consistently negative in all cell types and with all treatment-recovery conditions. Urethane, known to induce questionable clastogenicity, was not found as positive. Bleomycin and mitomycin C were found positive in all treatment-recovery conditions. The base and nucleoside analogs were less easy to detect, especially 5-fluorouracil due to the interference with cytotoxicity, while cytosine arabinoside was detected in all cell types depending on the treatment-recovery schedule. Aneugens (colchicine, diethylstilboestrol and griseofulvin) were all detected in all cell types. In this study, the optimal detection was ensured when a short treatment followed by a long recovery was associated with a long continuous treatment without recovery. There was no impact of the presence or absence of cytochalasin B on the detection of micronucleated cells on cell lines. Scoring micronucleated cells in both mononucleated and binucleated cells when using cytochalasin B was confirmed to be useful for the detection and the identification of aneugens. In conclusion, these results, together with previously published validation studies, provide a useful contribution to the optimisation of a study protocol for the detection of both clastogens and aneugens in the in vitro micronucleus test.

    • SFTG international collaborative study on in vitro micronucleus test III. Using CHO cells.
    • Aardema, Snyder, Spicer, Divi, Morita, Mauthe, Gibson, Soelter, Curry, Thybaud, Lorenzon, Marzin and Lorge
    • Mutat Res
    • 607 : 1
    • Abstract

    In this report, results are presented from an international study of the in vitro micronucleus assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells. This study was coordinated by an organizing committee supported by the SFTG (the French branch of the European Environmental Mutagen Society). Test chemicals included mannitol, bleomycin, cytosine arabinoside, urethane and diethylstilboestrol. Mitomycin C was used as a positive control. Each chemical was evaluated in at least two laboratories following a variety of different protocols (short and long exposures, varying recovery times, with and without cytochalasin B) in order to help determine a standard protocol for routine testing in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Mannitol and urethane were negative, while bleomycin, cytosine arabinoside and diethylstilboestrol induced a dose dependent increase in micronucleated cells. In the presence of cytochalasin B, increases in micronuclei were observed in binucleated as well as mononucleated cells in cultures treated with bleomycin, cytosine arabinoside or diethylstilboestrol. Importantly, all three of these chemicals were detected in each of the different treatment/recovery regimens. No differences were seen in the sensitivity or accuracy of the responses in the presence of absence of cytochalasin B. Overall, these results demonstrate the suitability of Chinese hamster ovary cells for the in vitro micronucleus assay.

    • SFTG international collaborative study on in vitro micronucleus test IV. Using CHL cells.
    • Wakata, Matsuoka, Yamakage, Yoshida, Kubo, Kobayashi, Senjyu, Itoh, Miyajima, Hamada, Nishida, Araki, Yamamura, Matsui, Thybaud, Lorenzon, Marzin and Lorge
    • Mutat Res
    • 607 : 1
    • Abstract

    In this report, are presented the results of an international collaborative study on the in vitro micronucleus assay, using CHL cells. Fourteen laboratories participated in this study which was coordinated by an organizing committee supported by the SFTG (the French branch of the European Environmental Mutagen Society). Nine coded substances, having different modes of action and at different levels were assessed in the in vitro micronucleus test, using a common protocol. Mitomycin C was used as a positive control. In order to help to define a standard protocol on CHL cells, short and long treatment periods followed by various recovery times, with or without cytochalasin B, were compared. After an evaluation of the acceptability of the assays, the tested chemicals were classified as negative, positive or equivocal. Mannitol and clofibrate were judged as negative in all treatment schedules. Bleomycin was positive in all the treatment schedules, with an increase in the number of micronucleated cells in both mononucleate and binucleate cells when using cytochalasin B. This was also shown for the aneugens colchicine, diethylstilboestrol and griseofulvin, as expected. Urethane was judged as equivocal only after long treatment with cytochalasin B, and negative in all other treatment schedules. In any case, no genotoxic compound would have been missed with schedules including a short and a long treatment time, whether the treatment was followed by a recovery period or not and whether cytochalasin B was used or not. Thus, these results show that CHL cells were suitable for accurately detecting clastogenic and aneugenic compounds of various types in the in vitro micronucleus test.

    • SFTG international collaborative study on in vitro micronucleus test II. Using human lymphocytes.
    • Clare, Lorenzon, Akhurst, Marzin, van Delft, Montero, Botta, Bertens, Cinelli, Thybaud and Lorge
    • Mutat Res
    • 607 : 1
    • Abstract

    This study on the in vitro micronucleus assay, comprising 11 laboratories using human lymphocytes, was coordinated by an organizing committee supported by the SFTG (the French branch of the European Environmental Mutagen Society). Nine coded substances were assessed for their ability to induce micronuclei in human lymphocytes in vitro, mitomycin C being used as a positive control. Cultures were exposed to the test substances for a short (early or late) time or for a long time, followed by a short or long recovery period, in the presence of cytochalasin B. Each chemical was evaluated, generally in two laboratories, using three treatment schedules at least twice. The data were assessed for acceptability, and then classified as negative, positive or equivocal. Two of seven genotoxic compounds, namely colchicine and bleomycin, clearly induced micronuclei. Reproducible results were difficult to obtain for some substances, which tended to be those acting at specific stages of the cell cycle. Cytosine arabinoside, diethylstilboestrol and 5-fluorouracil were classified as equivocal. Urethane and thiabendazole were classified as negative. The two presumed non-genotoxic compounds, mannitol and clofibrate, did not induce micronuclei. Repeat testing, exposing cells at both an early and late time after mitogenic stimulation, was needed to detect substances classified as equivocal. These results show the importance of achieving sufficient inhibition of nuclear division to avoid the possibility of missing an effect. The evaluation of micronuclei in mononucleated as well as binucleated cells was particularly useful to detect aneugens. There were no false positive results using lymphocytes, indicating a high specificity. It is concluded that the clastogenic or aneugenic potential in vitro of the substances tested was correctly identified in this study, but that refining the protocol to take into account factors such as the stages of the cell cycle exposed to the compound, or the duration of recovery would be likely to improve the sensitivity of detection using lymphocytes.

    • PCBs exert an estrogenic effect through repression of the Wnt7a signaling pathway in the female reproductive tract.
    • Ma and Sassoon
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 114 : 6
    • Abstract

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been proposed to have a weak estrogenic activity and therefore pose a risk as potential environmental endocrine disruptors to the perinatal development of the female reproductive tract. Perinatal exposure to high concentrations of the potent synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) induces abnormal development of the female reproductive tract via a mechanism that acts through the down-regulation of Wnt7a (wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7A). To test the hypothesis that PCBs act as weak estrogens, we injected neonatal mice with a commercial PCB mixture (Aroclor 1254) or with low levels of DES and measured effects of exposure on Wnt7a expression and uterine morphology. We report here that neonatal PCB or low-level DES exposure resulted in the down-regulation of Wnt7a expression. In addition, both PCB and low-level DES exposure induced changes in the uterine myometrium and gland formation. These data reveal that weak estrogens such as the PCBs act through a Wnt7a-dependent pathway and suggest that Wnt7a regulation is a sensitive biomarker for testing weak estrogenic candidate compounds. The morphologic changes that were elicited by PCBs and DES were different immediately after exposure, suggesting that Wnt7a-independent pathways are also activated by one or both of these compounds. Although Wnt7a down-regulation is transient after estrogenic exposure, subsequent morphologic changes became more pronounced during postnatal and adult life, suggesting that the female reproductive tract is permanently reprogrammed after exposure even to weak estrogenic compounds. In addition, Wnt7a heterozygous mice were more sensitive to PCB exposure, revealing an important genetic predisposition to risks of environmental endocrine disruptors.

    • Avian transgenerational reproductive toxicity test with in ovo exposure.
    • Kamata, Takahashi, Shimizu and Shiraishi
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 80 : 12
    • Abstract

    Ecological risk assessment of environmental pollutants requires effective laboratory assays and extrapolation of the resultant data to wild species. Because avian reproductive disorder and accumulation of persistent compounds in wild birds and their eggs have long been observed in polluted regions, we have developed an assay for investigating whether pollutants accumulated in eggs impair the reproduction of the exposed birds and the survival of the next generation using the Japanese quail. A typical estrogenic compound, diethylstilbestrol (DES), dissolved in olive oil was injected into the air-chamber of fertilized eggs on day 10 of incubation. After sexual maturation of hatched chicks, we mated pairs of male and female quails following an observation period of egg production and collected their eggs. The collected eggs were incubated and checked for the fertility and hatchability, and then the hatchlings were raised and observed in growth for 3 weeks. A dosage of 5 ng/g per egg of DES caused eggshell thinning in eggs laid by exposed females and reduction in eggshell strength. DES also induced shortening of the left oviduct and unexpected development of the right oviduct, while testis weight was reduced symmetrically. The ability of quail pairs to produce offspring was significantly diminished by exposure of females to DES independently of exposure of males, which mainly arose from production of abnormal and inviable eggs. Fertility of normal-shelled eggs and hatchability of fertilized eggs were unchanged regardless of treatments. External morphological abnormalities, which were mostly unopened toes of the foot, were frequently observed in hatchlings from exposed males independently of exposure of females. Additionally, we attempted to extrapolate the experimental results to the northern bobwhite and to predict population trends for quails in a polluted habitat using a population projection model composed of a combination of a Leslie matrix and the logistic equation. In the event of accumulation of an estrogenic compound equivalent to a dosage of 5 ng/g DES in quail eggs, the average population size was predicted to decrease by 20.2% after 1 year, to approximately half after 4 years, and to a fifth after 14 years. When observed weakening of individuals and the risk of egg breakage are taken into consideration, the decline in population was further accelerated. The proposed assay appears to be suitable not only for assessing adverse effects of chemicals on avian reproduction but for population projection of affected wild birds.

    • Enhanced urinary bladder and liver carcinogenesis in male CD1 mice exposed to transplacental inorganic arsenic and postnatal diethylstilbestrol or tamoxifen.
    • Waalkes, Liu, Ward and Diwan
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 215 : 3
    • Abstract

    Pregnant CD1 mice received 85 ppm arsenite in the drinking water from gestation day 8 to 18, groups (n = 35) of male offspring were subsequently injected on postpartum days 1 through 5 with diethylstilbestrol (DES; 2 microg/pup/day) or tamoxifen (TAM; 10 microg/pup/day), and tumor formation was assessed over 90 weeks. Arsenic alone increased hepatocellular carcinoma (14%), adenoma (23%) and total tumors (31%) compared to control (0, 2 and 2%, respectively). Arsenic alone also increased lung adenocarcinoma, adrenal cortical adenoma and renal cystic tubular hyperplasia compared to control. Compared to arsenic alone, arsenic plus DES increased liver tumor incidence in mice at risk 2.2-fold and increased liver tumor multiplicity (tumors/liver) 1.8-fold. The treatments alone did not impact urinary bladder carcinogenesis, but arsenic plus TAM significantly increased formation of urinary bladder transitional cell tumors (papilloma and carcinoma; 13%) compared to control (0%). Urinary bladder proliferative lesions (combined tumors and hyperplasia) were also increased by arsenic plus TAM (40%) or arsenic plus DES (43%) compared to control (0%) or the treatments alone. Urinary bladder proliferative lesions occurred in the absence of any evidence of uroepithelial cytotoxic lesions. Urinary bladder lesions and hepatocellular carcinoma induced by arsenic plus TAM and/or DES overexpressed estrogen receptor-alpha, indicating that aberrant estrogen signaling may have been a factor in the enhanced carcinogenic response. Thus, in male CD1 mice, gestational arsenic exposure alone induced liver adenoma and carcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma, adrenal adenoma and renal cystic hyperplasia. Furthermore, DES enhanced transplacental arsenic-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. In utero arsenic also initiated urinary bladder tumor formation when followed by postnatal TAM and uroepithelial proliferative lesions when followed by TAM or DES.

    • In ovo exposure quail assay for risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals.
    • Kamata, Takahashi, Shimizu, Morita and Shiraishi
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 80 : 12
    • Abstract

    Although there are in vivo assays using various organisms for the risk assessment of chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties, effective experimental methods for avian species are still under debate. We have developed an in ovo exposure assay using Japanese quail eggs, aimed at assessing disrupting effects on avian reproductive development and function. Hybrid eggs from Brazilian Brown male and White Egg female quails, which can be genetically sexed by their plumage color after hatching, were prepared, and test materials dissolved in olive oil were injected into the air-chamber on day 10 of incubation. After sexual maturation of hatched chicks, we observed egg production by females and the egg quality and male-typical reproductive behavior, and then examined reproductive system morphology and serum steroid concentrations in both sexes. Treatment with a synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES, 0.5-50 ng/g egg), dose-dependently reduced the eggshell thickness and strength of eggs. A few females treated with 5 ng/g DES per egg produced soft-shelled/ unmarked eggs, and all laying females treated with 50 ng/g egg produced eggs completely lacking shells. DES also induced shortening of the left oviduct and abnormal development of the right oviduct in a dose-dependent manner, while testis weight was reduced symmetrically. In addition, 2,2',4',6'-tetrachlorobiphenyl-4-ol (10-1,000 ng/g egg), which previously showed relatively high estrogenic activity in vitro, caused dose-dependent shortening of the left oviduct and reduction in testis weight. The methods for evaluating endocrine disrupting effects and preparing experimental birds proposed in the present study are expected to facilitate assays for avian reproductive toxicology.

    • Effects of neonatal exposure to 4-tert-octylphenol, diethylstilbestrol, and flutamide on steroidogenesis in infantile rat testis.
    • Mikkil?, Toppari and Paranko
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 91 : 2
    • Abstract

    Exposure of neonatal testis, populated by fetal-type Leydig cells, to endocrine-active compounds may have far-reaching consequences. Our aim was to resolve the sensitivity of testosterone synthesis of infant rat (Sprague-Dawley) testis to diethylstilbestrol (DES; 0.1-1.0 mg/kg), 4-tert-octylphenol (OP; 10-100 mg/kg), and Flutamide (FLU; 2.0-25 mg/kg) given by daily sc injections from birth to postnatal day 4. Testes and serum were collected on day 14 when body and testis weight, testicular histology, circulating testosterone, LH and FSH levels, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and 3beta-hydroxy-steroid-dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) protein levels were determined. DES at each dose and FLU at 25 mg/kg dose reduced testis weight and the diameter of seminiferous cords. FLU caused some Leydig cell hyperplasia. Plasma testosterone was reduced in all DES animals, LH elevated in DES 0.5 mg/kg and FLU 25 mg/kg animals, and FSH reduced in the DES 1.0 mg/kg group. Basal testicular ex vivo progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-stimulated testosterone production were decreased in DES animals. Despite a decrease in hCG-induced cyclic adenosine-3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) production, intratesticular testosterone was increased in the FLU 10 and 25 mg/kg groups. OP 100 mg/kg elevated hCG-induced progesterone production only. No changes were seen in 3beta-HSD protein levels in any treatment group. StAR levels were reduced in DES animals. The results indicate the sensitivity of postnatal fetal-type Leydig cells to endocrine-active compounds. Suppression of StAR expression level was an early sign of the DES-induced steroidogenic lesion. FLU-induced changes suggest the importance of androgen receptor-mediated regulation of testosterone synthesis in the postnatal rat testis. Octylphenol appeared less effective in bringing about acute steroidogenic changes.

    • Urogenital carcinogenesis in female CD1 mice induced by in utero arsenic exposure is exacerbated by postnatal diethylstilbestrol treatment.
    • Waalkes, Liu, Ward, Powell and Diwan
    • Cancer Res
    • 66 : 3
    • Abstract

    Transplacental inorganic arsenic carcinogenicity, together with postnatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol or tamoxifen, was studied. Pregnant CD1 mice received 85 ppm arsenic in the drinking water from gestation days 8 to 18 and were allowed to give birth. Groups (n = 35) of female offspring were injected s.c. on postpartum days 1 through 5 with diethylstilbestrol (2 microg/pup/d) or tamoxifen (10 microg/pup/d) and observed for 90 weeks. Arsenic alone induced some urogenital system tumors, including mostly benign tumors of the ovary and uterus, and adrenal adenoma. Diethylstilbestrol alone induced some tumors (primarily cervical) but when given after in utero arsenic, it greatly enhanced urogenital tumor incidence, multiplicity, and progression. For instance, compared with the incidence of urogenital malignancies in the control (0%), arsenic alone (9%), and diethylstilbestrol alone (21%) groups, arsenic plus diethylstilbestrol acted synergistically, inducing a 48% incidence of malignant urogenital tumors. Of the urogenital tumors induced by arsenic plus diethylstilbestrol, 80% were malignant, and 55% were multiple site. Arsenic plus diethylstilbestrol increased ovarian, uterine, and vaginal tumors, and urinary bladder proliferative lesions, including three transitional cell carcinomas. Tamoxifen alone did not increase urogenital tumors or affect arsenic-induced neoplasia but did increase arsenic-induced uroepithelial proliferative lesions. Uterine and bladder carcinoma induced by arsenic plus diethylstilbestrol greatly overexpressed estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha) and pS2, an estrogen-regulated gene. In neonatal uteri, prenatal arsenic increased ER-alpha expression and enhanced estrogen-related gene expression induced by postnatal diethylstilbestrol. Thus, arsenic acts with estrogens to enhance production of female mouse urogenital cancers.

    • Estrogenic compounds inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication in mouse Leydig TM3 cells.
    • Iwase, Fukata and Mori
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 212 : 3
    • Abstract

    Some estrogenic compounds are reported to cause testicular disorders in humans and/or experimental animals by direct action on Leydig cells. In carcinogenesis and normal development, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an essential role in maintaining homeostasis. In this study, we examine the effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES, a synthetic estrogen), 17beta-estradiol (E(2), a natural estrogen), and genistein (GEN, a phytoestrogen) on GJIC between mouse Leydig TM3 cells using Lucifer yellow microinjection. The three compounds tested produced GJIC inhibition in the TM3 cells after 24 h. Gradually, 10 microM DES began to inhibit GJIC for 24 h and this effect was observed until 72 h. On the other hand, both 20 microM E(2) and 25 microM GEN rapidly inhibited GJIC in 6 h and 2 h, respectively. The effects continued until 24 h, but weakened by 72 h. Furthermore, a combined effect at microM level between DES and E(2) on GJIC inhibition was observed, but not between GEN and E(2). DES and E(2) showed GJIC inhibition at low dose levels (nearly physiological estrogen levels) after 72 h, but GEN did not. DES-induced GJIC inhibition at 10 pM and 10 microM was completely counteracted by ICI 182,780 (ICl), an estrogen receptor antagonist. On the other hand, the inhibitory effects on GJIC with E(2) (10 pM and 20 microM) and GEN (25 microM) were partially blocked by ICI or calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, and were completely blocked by the combination of ICI and calphostin C. These results demonstrate that DES inhibits GJIC between Leydig cells via the estrogen receptor (ER), and that E(2) and GEN inhibit GJIC via ER and PKC. These estrogenic compounds may have different individual non-genotoxic mechanism including PKC pathway on testicular carcinogenesis or development.

    • Diethylstilbestrol alters positive and negative selection of T cells in the thymus and modulates T-cell repertoire in the periphery.
    • Brown, Nagarkatti and Nagarkatti
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 212 : 2
    • Abstract

    Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) is known to cause altered immune functions and increased susceptibility to autoimmune disease in humans. In the current study, we investigated the effects of DES on T-cell differentiation in the thymus using the HY-TCR transgenic (Tg) mouse model in which the female mice exhibit positive selection of T cells bearing the Tg TCR, while the male mice show negative selection of such T cells. In female HY-TCR-Tg mice, exposure to DES showed more pronounced decrease in thymic cellularity when compared to male mice. Additionally, female mice also showed a significant decrease in the proportion of double-positive (DP) T cells in the thymus and HY-TCR-specific CD8+ T cells in the periphery. Male mice exhibiting negative selection also showed decreased thymic cellularity following DES exposure. Moreover, the male mice showed increased proportion of double-negative (DN) T cells in the thymus and decreased proportion of CD8+ T cells. The density of expression of HY-TCR on CD8+ cells was increased following DES exposure in both females and males. Finally, the proliferative response of thymocytes to mitogens and peripheral lymph node T cells to male H-Y antigen was significantly altered in female and male mice following DES treatment. Taken together, these data suggest that DES alters T-cell differentiation in the thymus by interfering with positive and negative selection processes, which in turn modulates the T-cell repertoire in the periphery.

    • Low doses of bisphenol A and diethylstilbestrol impair Ca2+ signals in pancreatic alpha-cells through a nonclassical membrane estrogen receptor within intact islets of Langerhans.
    • Alonso-Magdalena, Laribi, Ropero, Fuentes, Ripoll, Soria and Nadal
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 113 : 8
    • Abstract

    Glucagon, secreted from pancreatic alpha-cells integrated within the islets of Langerhans, is involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism by enhancing the synthesis and mobilization of glucose in the liver. In addition, it has other extrahepatic effects ranging from lipolysis in adipose tissue to the control of satiety in the central nervous system. In this article, we show that the endocrine disruptors bisphenol A (BPA) and diethylstilbestrol (DES), at a concentration of 10(-9) M, suppressed low-glucose-induced intracellular calcium ion ([Ca2+]i) oscillations in alpha-cells, the signal that triggers glucagon secretion. This action has a rapid onset, and it is reproduced by the impermeable molecule estradiol (E2) conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (E-HRP). Competition studies using E-HRP binding in immunocytochemically identified alpha-cells indicate that 17beta-E2, BPA, and DES share a common membrane-binding site whose pharmacologic profile differs from the classical ER. The effects triggered by BPA, DES, and E2 are blocked by the G alpha i- and G alpha o-protein inhibitor pertussis toxin, by the guanylate cyclase-specific inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one, and by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. The effects are reproduced by 8-bromo-guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and suppressed in the presence of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor KT-5823. The action of E2, BPA, and DES in pancreatic alpha-cells may explain some of the effects elicited by endocrine disruptors in the metabolism of glucose and lipid.

    • Estrogen-induced abnormal accumulation of fat cells in the rat penis and associated loss of fertility depends upon estrogen exposure during critical period of penile development.
    • Goyal, Braden, Williams, Dalvi, Mansour and Williams
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 87 : 1
    • Abstract

    We previously reported that diethylstilbestrol (DES) or estradiol valerate (EV) exposure at a dose of 0.10-0.12 mg/kg, or higher, per day, on alternate days, from postnatal days 2-12, resulted in abnormal penis development and infertility (H. O. Goyal et al., 2005, J. Androl. 26, 32-43). The objective of this study was to identify a critical developmental period(s) during which EV exposure results in the observed penile abnormalities. Male pups received EV at a dose of 0.10-0.12 mg/kg on postnatal day(s) 1, 1-3, 4-6, 1-6, 7-12, 13-18, 19-24, or 25-30. Fertility was tested at 102-115 days of age and tissues were examined at 117-137 days. Both penile morphology and fertility were unaltered in rats treated with EV after 12 days of age. Conversely, except in rats treated on postnatal day 1 only, none of the males treated prior to 12 days of age sired pups, and all had abnormal penises, including varying degrees of abnormal accumulation of fat cells and loss of cavernous spaces and smooth muscle cells in the corpora cavernosa penis, which were maximal in the 1-6-day group. Also, the preputial sheath was partially released or its release was delayed, and the weight of the bulbospongiosus muscle was significantly reduced. Plasma testosterone (T) in the 1-6- and 4-6-day groups and intratesticular T in the 4-6-day group were significantly lower. The testosterone surge, characteristic of controls in the first week of life, was suppressed in the 1-3-day group. Estrogen receptor alpha mRNA expression was enhanced in the body of the penis in the 1-3-day group, but not in the 13-18-day group. Hence, EV exposure prior to 12 days of age (as short as 1-3 days postnatal), but not after 12 days of age, results in long-term abnormal penile morphology, characterized by abnormal accumulation of fat cells in the corpora cavernosa penis and, consequently, loss of fertility.

    • Comparison of the expression profiles induced by genotoxic and nongenotoxic carcinogens in rat liver.
    • Ellinger-Ziegelbauer, Stuart, Wahle, Bomann and Ahr
    • Mutat Res
    • 575 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    Application of recently developed gene expression techniques using microarrays in toxicological studies (toxicogenomics) facilitate the interpretation of a toxic compound's mode of action and may also allow the prediction of selected toxic effects based on gene expression changes. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated whether carcinogens at doses known to induce liver tumors in the 2-year rat bioassay deregulate characteristic sets of genes in a short term in vivo study and whether these deregulated genes represent defined biological pathways. Male Wistar rats were dosed with the four nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogens methapyrilene (MPy, 60 mg/kg/day), diethylstilbestrol (DES, 10 mg/kg/day), Wy-14643 (Wy, 60 mg/kg/day), and piperonylbutoxide (PBO, 1200 mg/kg/day). After 1, 3, 7, and 14 days, the livers were taken for histopathological evaluation and for analysis of the gene expression profiles on Affymetrix RG_U34A arrays. The expression profile of the four nongenotoxic carcinogens were compared to the profiles of the four genotoxic carcinogens 2-nitrofluorene (2-NF), dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), and aflatoxin B1 (AB1) from a similar study reported previously. By using statistical and clustering tools characteristically deregulated genes were extracted and functionally classified. Distinct cellular pathways were affected by the nongenotoxic carcinogens compared to the genotoxic carcinogens which at least partly correlated with the two-stage model of carcinogenesis. Characteristic to genotoxic carcinogens were a DNA damage response and the activation of proliferative and survival signaling. Nongenotoxic carcinogens showed responses to oxidative DNA or protein damage, as well as cell cycle progression and signs of regeneration. Many of the gene alterations found with the nongenotoxic carcinogens imply compound-specific mechanisms. Although neither a single gene nor a single pathway will be sufficient to discriminate the two classes of carcinogens, it became evident that combinations of pathway-associated gene expression profiles may be used to predict a genotoxic or nongenotoxic carcinogenic potential of a compound in short-term studies.

    • Xenoestrogens at picomolar to nanomolar concentrations trigger membrane estrogen receptor-alpha-mediated Ca2+ fluxes and prolactin release in GH3/B6 pituitary tumor cells.
    • Wozniak, Bulayeva and Watson
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 113 : 4
    • Abstract

    Xenoestrogens (XEs) are widespread in our environment and are known to have deleterious effects in animal (and perhaps human) populations. Acting as inappropriate estrogens, XEs are thought to interfere with endogenous estrogens such as estradiol (E2) to disrupt normal estrogenic signaling. We investigated the effects of E2 versus several XEs representing organochlorine pesticides (dieldrin, endosulfan, o',p'-dichlorodiphenylethylene), plastics manufacturing by-products/detergents (nonylphenol, bisphenol A), a phytoestrogen (coumestrol), and a synthetic estrogen (diethylstilbestrol) on the pituitary tumor cell subline GH3/B6/F10, previously selected for expression of high levels of membrane estrogen receptor-alpha. Picomolar to nanomolar concentrations of both E2 and XEs caused intracellular Ca2+ changes within 30 sec of administration. Each XE produced a unique temporal pattern of Ca2+ elevation. Removing Ca2+ from the extracellular solution abolished both spontaneous and XE-induced intracellular Ca2+ changes, as did 10 microM nifedipine. This suggests that XEs mediate their actions via voltage-dependent L-type Ca2+ channels in the plasma membrane. None of the Ca2+ fluxes came from intracellular Ca2+ stores. E2 and each XE also caused unique time- and concentration-dependent patterns of prolactin (PRL) secretion that were largely complete within 3 min of administration. PRL secretion was also blocked by nifedipine, demonstrating a correlation between Ca2+ influx and PRL secretion. These data indicate that at very low concentrations, XEs mediate membrane-initiated intracellular CCa2+ increases resulting in PRL secretion via a mechanism similar to that for E2, but with distinct patterns and potencies that could explain their abilities to disrupt endocrine functions.

    • In vitro effects of diethylstilbestrol, genistein, 4-tert-butylphenol, and 4-tert-octylphenol on steroidogenic activity of isolated immature rat ovarian follicles.
    • Myllym?ki, Haavisto, Vainio, Toppari and Paranko
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 204 : 1
    • Abstract

    Isolated rat ovarian follicles grow and produce steroid hormones in vitro and so provide a good model for studying the effects of hormonally active compounds on follicular steroidogenesis. We have evaluated the effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES), genistein (GEN) and two alkylphenols, 4-tert-butylphenol (BP) and 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) on the growth, survival, and steroid hormone and cAMP production by isolated 14-day-old rat (Sprague-Dawley) ovarian follicles. During a 5-day culture, FSH was obligatory for follicle growth and increased estradiol and testosterone secretion in a dose-dependent manner. DES (10(-6) M) caused the strongest decline in estradiol and testosterone levels but did not have detectable effects on either cAMP production or aromatase enzyme activity. GEN caused a prominent decrease in cAMP and testosterone levels without significant changes in secreted estradiol. The latter, apparently, was due to a dose-dependent stimulation of aromatase enzyme activity in the presence of genistein. Both BP and OP decreased estradiol and testosterone secretion in a dose-dependent manner while no effect on aromatase activity was observed. OP, unlike BP, decreased forskolin-induced cAMP levels. Xenoestrogens at the used concentrations did not interfere with the growth and survival of the follicles. The results indicate that isolated ovarian follicles representing intact morphological and functional units offer a sensitive model system for elucidating the female-specific reproductive effects of environmental chemicals.

    • Effect of natural and synthetic estrogens on a549 lung cancer cells: correlation of chemical structures with cytotoxic effects.
    • Andreescu, Sadik and McGee
    • Chem Res Toxicol
    • 18 : 3
    • Abstract

    A series of synthetic (nonylphenol, diethylstilbestrol, and bisphenol A) and natural (quercetin, resveratrol, and genistein) phenolic estrogens were investigated for their ability to affect the viability and proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells. To assess and distinguish the cytotoxic effect of individual estrogens, we used both the MTT tetrazolium spectrophotometric method and the fluorescence assay, while the induction of the cell specific apoptotic process was examined by fluorescence microscopy after treatment of cells with SYTO 24 green fluorescent dye. A systematic study of interferences for both fluorescence and MTT methods is presented. The results showed that both natural and synthetic estrogens decreased the viability and proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner but at different sensitivities. Nonylphenol appeared very different as compared to the other estrogens, acting by inducing the higher inactivation rate of the cells within a very short time. The cytotoxic effect of the estrogens was directly related to their structural and conformational characteristics including chain length, number, and position of hydroxyl groups and degree of saturation.

    • Analysis of gene expression induced by diethylstilbestrol (DES) in human primitive Mullerian duct cells using microarray.
    • Miki, Suzuki, Tazawa, Ishizuka, Semba, Gorai and Sasano
    • Cancer Lett
    • 220 : 2
    • Abstract

    The Mullerian ducts are strongly influenced by natural estrogen, estradiol (E2) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) in their development. We screened E2 and DES responsive genes using a microarray analysis in human primitive Mullerian duct cell line, EMTOKA cells expressed estrogen receptor (ER) beta. c-myc oncogene and other target genes expression was detected in cells treated by high-dose DES, but ER antagonist ICI 182,780 could not prevent c-myc induction above. Results of our present study suggested the presence of ER independent pathway in oncogenes induction process by high-dose DES treatment in a human primitive Mullerian duct cell line.

    • Evaluation of mechanisms inducing thyroid toxicity and the ability of the enhanced OECD Test Guideline 407 to detect these changes.
    • Cunha and van Ravenzwaay
    • Arch Toxicol
    • 79 : 7
    • Abstract

    The OECD has developed an "enhanced Test Guideline 407" (TG 407) protocol for detecting endocrine effects during the course of a 28-day testing scheme. This protocol has gone through a validation process with (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic compounds and substances that affect the thyroid (thyroxine and propylthiouracil). This review investigates whether a 28-day testing scheme would show up alterations in the thyroid-related parameters of the "enhanced TG 407" (T3, T4, TSH, thyroid weight and histopathology), irrespective of the mode of action. For each mode of action, a generally accepted reference chemical was selected and an in-depth literature survey was carried out, and the chemical was evaluated for treatment-related changes of thyroid-dependent parameters. The following model chemicals were selected: ion perchlorate, blockage of iodine uptake; propylthiouracil, inhibition of thyroid hormone synthesis; excess of iodine, blockage of thyroid hormone release; pyrazole, thyroid cytotoxicity; minocycline, thyroid pigmentation; amiodarone, inhibition of TSH synthesis; diethylstilbestrol, competition for thyroid hormone binding globulin; selenium-deficient diet, inhibition of thyroxine deiodination; FD&C Red No. 3, inhibition of peripheral 5'-deiodinase; cadmium, lipid peroxidation; phenobarbital, increase in thyroxine conjugation and biliary excretion; temelastine, thyroxine accumulation. Test data for treatments lasting approximately one month were available for most of these model chemicals, and these demonstrated the expected thyroid-related changes. Thus, it can be concluded that a 28-day testing scheme allows for the detection of thyroid-disrupting chemicals. The literature data also were evaluated according to whether preference can be given to any of the thyroid-related parameters (thyroid/pituitary hormones, thyroid weight and histopathology) with regard to dose-related sensitivities. Due to different study designs (such as treatment duration, application mode, dose selection and parameters used), no clear picture emerged. Therefore, consideration should be given to all of these parameters, which should also help to define the mode of action. Overall, this literature review provides support for the contention that the newly developed "enhanced TG 407" test protocol is well suited to the detection of chemicals that affect the thyroid gland.

    • Modulation by flavonoids of DNA damage induced by estrogen-like compounds.
    • Cemeli, Schmid and Anderson
    • Environ Mol Mutagen
    • 44 : 5
    • Abstract

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced by a wide variety of exogenous chemicals and metabolic processes and cause a broad spectrum of damage to biological systems. As a consequence, ROS react with DNA, among many other biological targets, disrupting its structure and functionality. Estrogen-like compounds mediate DNA damage by ROS generation, implying that their effects can be modulated by antioxidants such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, and vitamin C. We examined DNA damage in human lymphocytes and sperm after treatment with four estrogen-like compounds (beta-estradiol, diethylstilbestrol, daidzein, and genistein) and its modulation by flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol) using the Comet assay. The results indicated that quercetin and kaempferol reduced the DNA damage produced in sperm and lymphocytes by the four estrogenic compounds. The flavonoids also reduced the DNA damage induced by hydrogen peroxide, which was used as a positive control. Our results demonstrate that the antioxidant properties of flavonoids can protect the integrity of human sperm and lymphocyte DNA from ROS induced by estrogenic compounds.

    • In vivo imaging of activated estrogen receptors in utero by estrogens and bisphenol A.
    • Lemmen, Arends, van der Saag and van der Burg
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 112 : 15
    • Abstract

    Environmental estrogens are of particular concern when exposure occurs during embryonic development. Although there are good models to study estrogenic activity of chemicals in adult animals, developmental exposure is much more difficult to test. The weak estrogenic activity of the environmental estrogen bisphenol A (BPA) in embryos is controversial. We have recently generated transgenic mice that carry a reporter construct with estrogen-responsive elements coupled to luciferase. We show that, using this in vivo model in combination with the IVIS imaging system, activation of estrogen receptors (ERs) by maternally applied BPA and other estrogens can be detected in living embryos in utero. Eight hours after exposure to 1 mg/kg BPA, ER transactivation could be significantly induced in the embryos. This was more potent than would be estimated from in vitro assays, although its intrinsic activity is still lower than that of diethylstilbestrol and 17beta-estradiol dipropionate. On the basis of these results, we conclude that the estrogenic potency of BPA estimated using in vitro assays might underestimate its estrogenic potential in embryos.

    • Co-culture of primary human mammary fibroblasts and MCF-7 cells as an in vitro breast cancer model.
    • Heneweer, Muusse, Dingemans, de Jong, van den Berg and Sanderson
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 83 : 2
    • Abstract

    Approximately 60% of all breast tumors are estrogen-responsive and chemicals that show estrogenic or anti-estrogenic properties are able to interact with breast tumor growth. In a breast tumor, adipose stromal cells (fibroblasts) surrounding the epithelial tumor contain the aromatase enzyme, which converts androgens into estrogens. Exposure to aromatase inducers can therefore lead to increased estrogen levels and possibly to accelerated breast tumor growth. Subsequently, breast tumor cells synthesize and secrete elevated levels of factors such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and IL-6 soluble receptor (IL-6sR), which in turn have the ability to stimulate aromatase gene transcription in fibroblasts, establishing a positive feedback loop. In this study, a technique that allows for culturing MCF-7 epithelial breast tumor cells and healthy primary human mammary fibroblasts together in one compartment was developed. To establish the positive feedback loop, the co-culture was exposed to estrogenic compounds. RNA was isolated and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on the aromatase and pS2 genes. Exposure of the co-culture to estradiol (E2), diethylstilbestrol (DES), and bisphenol-A (BPA), resulted in a three- to seven-fold increase of pS2 transcription levels. Furthermore, pS2 transcription levels increased even more when the aromatase substrate testosterone (20 nM) was present in the co-culture medium. Exposure of the co-culture to the aromatase inducer dexamethasone (DEX) resulted in increased pS2 transcription levels, as well as increased aromatase transcription levels. Simultaneous exposure to DEX and the synthetic anti-estrogen ICI 182,780 almost completely blocked the pS2 response. The aromatase induction response was not altered by ICI 182,780 treatment. Simultaneous exposure to DEX and the non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor fadrozole, abolished the effect of the presence of testosterone in the co-culture medium, but did not result in pS2 gene transcription levels as low as seen after exposure to ICI 182,780. These observations indicate the presence of a positive feedback loop in our co-culture system. This co-culture provides a more sophisticated and sensitive system to detect direct and indirect estrogenic effects of compounds and their possible effects on breast tumor promotion.

    • Endocrine disruption in adolescence: immunologic, hematologic, and bone effects in monkeys.
    • Golub, Hogrefe, Germann and Jerome
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 82 : 2
    • Abstract

    Environmental contaminants with estrogenic properties have the potential to alter pubertal development. In addition to the reproductive system, other systems that mature under the influence of estrogen could be affected. This study examined the effect on immune, hematologic, and bone mass parameters of treatment with estrogenic agents (methoxychlor, MXC, 25 and 50 mg/kg/day; diethylstilbestrol, DES, 0.5 mg/kg/day) given in the peripubertal period to female rhesus monkeys. DES had striking effects on several parameters assessed measures CBC and clinical chemistry including hematocrit, hemoglobin, serum albumin, liver transaminases, and lipids. Circulating lymphocytes, particularly B cells, were depressed by DES, and a maturational shift in a memory T-cell population was altered. Bone mass and length, as measured after a 9-month recovery period, were significantly lower in the DES group and bone mass tended to be reduced in the femur of the MXC50 group relative to controls. In conclusion, the data indicate that DES had a clear effect on immunohematology and bone growth, while MXC influenced fewer parameters. Disruption in these systems during puberty could alter adolescent risk for anemia and infectious disease and subsequent adult risk for diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and autoimmune disease.

    • Predictive values of traditional animal bioassay studies for human perinatal carcinogenesis risk determination.
    • Anderson
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 199 : 2
    • Abstract

    The many physiological, biochemical, and structure differences between rodents and humans, especially with regard to gestation and fetal development, invite questions as to the utility of rodent models for the prediction of risk of perinatal carcinogenesis in humans and for extrapolation of mechanistic studies. Here, the relevance of basic generalities, derived from rodent perinatal studies, to human contexts is considered. The cross-species usefulness of these generalities was upheld by the example of carcinogen activation and detoxification as determining factors. These have been established in rodent studies and recently indicted in humans by investigations of genetic polymorphisms in cytochromes P450, N-acetyltransferase, myeloperoxidase, quinone reductase, and glutathione S-transferase. Also, published data have been analyzed comparatively for diethylstilbestrol and irradiation, the two known human transplacental carcinogenic agents. At similar doses to those experienced by humans, both diethylstilbestrol and X- and gamma-irradiation in rodents and dogs yielded increased tumors at rates similar to those for humans. In rodents, there was a clearly negative relationship between total diethylstilbestrol dose and tumors per dose unit, and a similar pattern was suggested for radiation. Diethylstilbestrol had transgenerational effects that did not diminish over three generations. Overall, this analysis of the published literature indicates that there are basic qualitative and quantitative similarities in the responsiveness of human and rodent fetuses to carcinogens, and that dose effects may be complex and in need of further investigation.

    • Lessons learned from perinatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol.
    • Newbold
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 199 : 2
    • Abstract

    The synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) is well documented to be a perinatal carcinogen in both humans and experimental animals. Exposure to DES during critical periods of differentiation permanently alters the programming of estrogen target tissues resulting in benign and malignant abnormalities in the reproductive tract later in life. Using the perinatal DES-exposed rodent model, cellular and molecular mechanisms have been identified that play a role in these carcinogenic effects. Although DES is a potent estrogenic chemical, effects of low doses of the compound are being used to predict health risks of weaker environmental estrogens. Therefore, it is of particular interest that developmental exposure to very low doses of DES has been found to adversely affect fertility and to increase tumor incidence in murine reproductive tract tissues. These adverse effects are seen at environmentally relevant estrogen dose levels. New studies from our lab verify that DES effects are not unique; when numerous environmental chemicals with weak estrogenic activity are tested in the experimental neonatal mouse model, developmental exposure results in an increased incidence of benign and malignant tumors including uterine leiomyomas and adenocarcinomas that are similar to those shown following DES exposure. Finally, growing evidence in experimental animals suggests that some adverse effects can be passed on to subsequent generations, although the mechanisms involved in these trans-generational events remain unknown. Although the complete spectrum of risks to DES-exposed humans are uncertain at this time, the scientific community continues to learn more about cellular and molecular mechanisms by which perinatal carcinogenesis occurs. These advances in knowledge of both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms will be significant in ultimately predicting risks to other environmental estrogens and understanding more about the role of estrogens in normal and abnormal development.

    • Introduction and overview. Perinatal carcinogenesis: growing a node for epidemiology, risk management, and animal studies.
    • Anderson
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 199 : 2
    • Abstract

    Perinatal carcinogenesis as a cross-disciplinary concern is the subject of this special issue of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, which consists of a total of eight reviews or commentaries in the areas of epidemiology, risk assessment, and animal models. Some of the conclusions from these articles, and the Questions and Answers section that follows most of them, are summarized here. There is adequate reason to suspect that perinatal exposures contribute to human cancer risk, both childhood cancers, and those appearing later in life. The latter type of risk may actually be quantitatively the more important, and involve a wide range of types of effects, but has received only limited attention. With regard to childhood cancers, fetal irradiation and diethylstilbestrol exposure are known etiological agents, and it is likely, but not yet certain, there are additional external causes of a portion of these. Some current focal points of interest here include nitroso compounds, DNA topoisomerase inhibitors, viruses, anti-AIDS drugs, and endocrine disruptors. Regulatory agencies must rely heavily on animal data for estimation of human risk due to perinatal exposures to chemicals, and the quantity and quality of these data presently available for this purpose are greatly limiting. Correctly designed conventional animal studies with suspect chemicals are still needed. Furthermore, genetically engineered mouse models for childhood cancers, especially medulloblastoma, have become available, and could be used for screening of candidate causative agents for this cancer type, and for better understanding of gene-environment interactions.

    • The need to decide if all estrogens are intrinsically similar.
    • Moggs, Ashby, Tinwell, Lim, Moore, Kimber and Orphanides
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 112 : 11
    • Abstract

    We used gene expression profiling to investigate whether the molecular effects induced by estrogens of different provenance are intrinsically similar. In this article we show that the physiologic estrogen 17-beta-estradiol, the phytoestrogen genistein, and the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol alter the expression of the same 179 genes in the intact immature mouse uterus under conditions where each chemical has produced an equivalent gravimetric and histologic uterotrophic effect, using the standard 3-day assay protocol. Data are also presented indicating the limitations associated with comparison of gene expression profiles for different chemicals at times before the uterotrophic effects are fully realized. We conclude that the case has yet to be made for regarding synthetic estrogens as presenting a unique human hazard compared with phytoestrogens and physiologic estrogens. Key words: diethylstilbestrol, estrogen, gene expression, genistein, microarray, phytoestrogen, toxicogenomics, uterus.

    • In utero effects of chemicals on reproductive tissues in females.
    • Miller, Borgeest, Greenfeld, Tomic and Flaws
    • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol
    • 198 : 2
    • Abstract

    Chemicals found in the environment as industrial byproducts or pollutants as well as those that are prescribed or part of our daily lives can have multiple effects on the human body. The manner in which we are exposed, and the levels we are exposed to are significant contributing factors. Adults have the bodily defense mechanisms in place to combat exposures to adverse toxicants and general pollution at a variety of levels. However, developing organisms may not have adequate defense mechanisms, and toxicants can have a significant effect on their health and development. In this review, we take particular note of the toxicities of chemicals on the developing female reproductive system as a result of in utero exposure. Environmental and prescribed chemicals such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), diethylstilbestrol, and genistein, as well as others, will be reviewed for their in utero toxicity in the neuroendocrine system, the ovary, oviduct, placenta, uterus, vagina, cervix, and mammary gland.

    • Micronuclei induced by aneugens and clastogens in mononucleate and binucleate cells using the cytokinesis block assay.
    • Rosefort, Fauth and Zankl
    • Mutagenesis
    • 19 : 4
    • Abstract

    The human in vitro micronucleus (MN) test has become a fast and reliable assay for mutagenicity testing. Currently, this assay is mostly performed with cytochalasin B, which prevents cytokinesis, resulting in polynucleated cells. The number of nuclei per cell indicates the number of nuclear divisions that have occurred since the addition of cytochalasin B. It is recommended that MN are only counted in binucleated lymphocytes, because these cells have finished one nuclear division. Therefore, almost no attention has been paid to MN in mononucleated cells. However, recent studies have indicated that aneugens, but not clastogens, also induce MN in mononucleates. In order to evaluate mononucleates to distinguish between aneugenic and clastogenic effects, we tested some typical aneugens and clastogens in whole blood lymphocyte cultures of four donors with the cytokinesis block micronucleus (CBMN) assay. Results showed that the aneugens diethylstilbestrol (80 microM), griseofulvin (25 microg/ml) and vincristine sulphate (15 microg/ml) increased MN frequencies in mononucleated and binucleated cells, whilst the clastogens mitomycin C (500 ng/ml), bleomycin (6 microg/ml) and doxorubicin (20 microg/ml) increased MN frequency only in binucleates. We also tested the Y heterochromatin decondensing drug berenil (300 microg/ml). Berenil induced an extremely high number of MN in mononucleated as well as in binucleated cells, indicating an aneugenic action. This was confirmed by centromere labelling. The results suggest that MN in mononucleates may be an interesting additional parameter in the CBMN assay. Future studies should clarify whether the micronucleated mononucleate cells have escaped the cytokinesis block and become polyploid.

    • Endocrine disruptors (environmental estrogens) enhance autoantibody production by B1 cells.
    • Yurino, Ishikawa, Sato, Akadegawa, Ito, Ueha, Inadera and Matsushima
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 81 : 1
    • Abstract

    Accumulating data suggest that endocrine disruptors affect not only the reproductive system, but also the immune system. We demonstrate here that endocrine disruptors including diethylstilbestrol (DES) and bisphenol-A (BPA) enhance autoantibody production by B1 cells both in vitro and in vivo. BWF1 mice, a murine model for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), implanted with Silastic tubes containing DES after orchidectomy developed murine lupus characterized by immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-DNA antibody production and IgG deposition in the glomeruli in the kidney as well as those implanted with 17beta-estradiol (E2). Plaque-forming cells (PFC) producing autoantibodies specific for bromelain-treated red blood cells were significantly increased in mice implanted with DES and BPA. IgM antibody production by B1 cells in vitro was also enhanced in the presence of endocrine disruptors including DES and BPA. Estrogen receptor (ER) expression was upregulated in B1 cells in aged BWF1 mice that developed lupus nephritis. These results suggest that endocrine disruptors are involved in autoantibody production by B1 cells and may be an etiologic factor in the development of autoimmune diseases.

    • Using a customized DNA microarray for expression profiling of the estrogen-responsive genes to evaluate estrogen activity among natural estrogens and industrial chemicals.
    • Terasaka, Aita, Inoue, Hayashi, Nishigaki, Aoyagi, Sasaki, Wada-Kiyama, Sakuma, Akaba, Tanaka, Sone, Yonemoto, Tanji and Kiyama
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 112 : 7
    • Abstract

    We developed a DNA microarray to evaluate the estrogen activity of natural estrogens and industrial chemicals. Using MCF-7 cells, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of estrogen-responsive genes among approximately 20,000 human genes. On the basis of reproducible and reliable responses of the genes to estrogen, we selected 172 genes to be used for developing a customized DNA microarray. Using this DNA microarray, we examined estrogen activity among natural estrogens (17beta-estradiol, estriol, estrone, genistein), industrial chemicals (diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A, nonylphenol, methoxychlor), and dioxin. We obtained results identical to those for other bioassays that are used for detecting estrogen activity. On the basis of statistical correlations analysis, these bioassays have shown more sensitivity for dioxin and methoxychlor.

    • Bisphenol A and its methylated congeners inhibit growth and interfere with microtubules in human fibroblasts in vitro.
    • Lehmann and Metzler
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 147 : 3
    • Abstract

    Bisphenol A (BPA), a monomer of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, has previously been reported to induce micronuclei containing whole chromosomes in Chinese hamster V79 cells. In the present study, the aneuploidogenic potential of BPA was investigated in cultured human AG01522C fibroblasts. In contrast to the known aneugens diethylstilbestrol (DES) and 17beta-estradiol, which caused mitotic arrest and the induction of kinetochore-positive micronuclei, BPA did not induce micronuclei and inhibited the proliferation of AG01522C cells in G2 phase and probably also in G1 phase. Fluorescence microscopy of the BPA-treated cells after immunofluorescent staining of microtubules revealed structural abnormalities of the cytoplasmic microtubule complex (CMTC): densely stained rings and loops of tubulin were observed, which increased in number with increasing BPA concentration and were more stable against low temperature than normal microtubules. The mechanisms of the growth inhibition and the interference with microtubules elicited by BPA in AG01522C cells are presently unknown. The formation of rings and loops in the CMTC of AG01522C cells was also observed with two congeners of BPA carrying one and two, respectively, additional methyl groups in ortho-position to the phenolic hydroxyl group at each aromatic ring. However, in contrast to BPA itself, these congeners of BPA behaved "DES-like" by inducing mitotic arrest and kinetochore-positive micronuclei in AG01522C cells.

    • Phytoestrogens and their human metabolites show distinct agonistic and antagonistic properties on estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and ERbeta in human cells.
    • Mueller, Simon, Chae, Metzler and Korach
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 80 : 1
    • Abstract

    Phytoestrogens exert pleiotropic effects on cellular signaling and show some beneficial effects on estrogen-dependent diseases. However, due to activation/inhibition of the estrogen receptors ERalpha or ERbeta, these compounds may induce or inhibit estrogen action and, therefore, have the potential to disrupt estrogen signaling. We performed a comprehensive analysis and potency comparison of phytoestrogens and their human metabolites for ER binding, induction/suppression of ERalpha and ERbeta transactivation, and coactivator recruitment in human cells. The soy-derived genistein, coumestrol, and equol displayed a preference for transactivation of ERbeta compared to ERalpha and were 10- to 100-fold less potent than diethylstilbestrol. In contrast, zearalenone was the most potent phytoestrogen tested and activated preferentially ERalpha. All other phytoestrogens tested, including resveratrol and human metabolites of daidzein and enterolactone, were weak ER agonists. Interestingly, the daidzein metabolites 3',4',7-isoflavone and 4',6,7-isoflavone were superagonists on ERalpha and ERbeta. All phytoestrogens tested showed reduced potencies to activate ERalpha and ERbeta compared to diethylstilbestrol on the estrogen-responsive C3 promoter compared to a consensus estrogen response element indicating a degree of promoter dependency. Zearalenone and resveratrol were antagonistic on both ERalpha and ERbeta at high doses. The phytoestrogens enhanced preferentially recruitment of GRIP1 to ERalpha similar to 17beta-estradiol. In contrast, for ERbeta no distinct preference for one coactivator (GRIP1 or SRC-1) was apparent and the overall coactivator association was less pronounced than for ERalpha. Due to their abundance and (anti)-estrogenic potencies, the soy-derived isoflavones, coumestrol, resveratrol, and zearalenone would appear to have the potential for effectively functioning as endocrine disruptors.

    • Sensitivity of the immature rat uterotrophic assay to mixtures of estrogens.
    • Tinwell and Ashby
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 112 : 5
    • Abstract

    We have evaluated whether mixtures of estrogens, present in the mix at doses that are individually inactive in the immature rat uterotrophic assay, can give a uterotrophic response. Seven chemicals were evaluated: nonylphenol, bisphenol A (BPA), methoxychlor, genistein (GEN), estradiol, diethylstilbestrol, and ethinyl estradiol. Dose responses in the uterotrophic assay were constructed for each chemical. The first series of experiments involved evaluating binary mixtures of BPA and GEN at dose levels that gave moderate uterotrophic responses when tested individually. The mixtures generally showed an intermediate or reduced uterotrophic effect compared with when the components of the mixture were tested alone at the dose used in the mixture. The next series of experiments used a multicomponent (complex) mixture of all seven chemicals evaluated at doses that gave either weakly positive or inactive uterotrophic responses when tested individually in the assay. Doses that were nominally equi-uterotrophic ranged over approximately six orders of magnitude for the seven chemicals. Doses of agents that gave a weak uterotrophic response when tested individually gave a marginally enhanced positive response in the assay when tested combined as a mixture. Doses of agents that gave a negative uterotrophic response when tested individually gave a positive response when tested as a mixture. These data indicate that a variety of different estrogen receptor (ER) agonists, present individually at subeffective doses, can act simultaneously to evoke an ER-regulated response. However, translating these findings into the process of environmental hazard assessment will be difficult. The simple addition of the observed, or predicted, activities for the components of a mixture is confirmed here to be inappropriate and to overestimate the actual effect induced by the mixture. Equally, isobole analysis is only suitable for two- or three-component mixtures, and concentration addition requires access to dose-response data and EC50 values (concentration giving 50% of the maximum response) for the individual components of the mixture--requirements that will rarely be fulfilled for complex environmental samples. Given these uncertainties, we conclude that it may be most expedient to select and bioassay whole environmental mixtures of potential concern.

    • Assessment of the performance of the Ames II assay: a collaborative study with 19 coded compounds.
    • Fl¨¹ckiger-Isler, Baumeister, Braun, Gervais, Hasler-Nguyen, Reimann, Van Gompel, Wunderlich and Engelhardt
    • Mutat Res
    • 558 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    Nineteen coded chemicals were tested in an international collaborative study for their mutagenic activity. The assay system employed was the Ames II Mutagenicity Assay, using the tester strains TA98 and TAMix (TA7001-7006). The test compounds were selected from a published study with a large data set from the standard Ames plate-incorporation test. The following test compounds including matched pairs were investigated: cyclophoshamide, 2-naphthylamine, benzo(a)pyrene, pyrene, 2-acetylaminofluorene, 4,4'-methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline), 9,10-dimethylanthracene, anthracene, 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide, diphenylnitrosamine, urethane, isopropyl-N(3-chlorophenyl)carbamate, benzidine, 3,3'-5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine, azoxybenzene, 3-aminotriazole, diethylstilbestrol, sucrose and methionine. The results of both assay systems were compared, and the inter-laboratory consistency of the Ames II test was assessed. Of the eight mutagens selected, six were correctly identified with the Ames II assay by all laboratories, one compound was judged positive by five of six investigators and one by four of six laboratories. All seven non-mutagenic samples were consistently negative in the Ames II assay. Of the four chemicals that gave inconsistent results in the traditional Ames test, three were uniformly classified as either positive or negative in the present study, whereas one compound gave equivocal results. A comparison of the test outcome of the different investigators resulted in an inter-laboratory consistency of 89.5%. Owing to the high concordance between the two test systems, and the low inter-laboratory variability in the Ames II assay results, the Ames II is an effective screening alternative to the standard Ames test, requiring less test material and labor.

    • Modulation of AhR-mediated CYP1A1 mRNA and EROD activities by 17beta-estradiol and dexamethasone in TCDD-induced H411E cells.
    • Lai, Wong and Wong
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 78 : 1
    • Abstract

    TCDD elicits a variety of species- and organ-specific pathological consequences. The differential toxicities are thought to relate to the de novo modulation of TCDD action by endogenous hormones. Previous studies from this laboratory demonstrated a dose- and time-dependent induction of CYP1A1 expression and 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activities in H4IIE cells by picomolar levels of TCDD treatment. In this study, we examined the hormonal modulation of TCDD-elicited AhR-mediated biochemical responses. Lipid-soluble hormones, 17beta-estradiol (E(2)), diethylstilbestrol (DES), testosterone (T), 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dexamethasone (DEX), and T(3), were studied for their possible interactions with the TCDD-mediated effects. Our results showed that CYP1A1 expression and EROD activities induced by TCDD were potentiated or suppressed, respectively, by DEX or E(2)/DES treatment. Other tested hormones, however, had no significant effect. Using a receptor antagonist (RU486), DEX-mediated potentiation of TCDD-elicited EROD activity was completely abolished. E(2)-mediated suppression, however, was not affected by cotreatment with the estrogen receptor antagonists, 4-hydroxytamoxifen or ICI 182780. Taking a step further to dissect the possible mechanisms involved, with the aid of cycloheximide (CHX), DEX-mediated potentiation was found to depend on the posttranscriptional process. The DEX pretreatment study indicated that the potentiation was a time-dependent process. In contrast, E(2)-mediated suppression did not rely on the synthesis of protein factors. Presumably it might hinder the formation of the activated TCDD/AhR complex and so the subsequent binding on DRE.

    • Age, sex and co-exposure to N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea influence mutations in the Alu repeat sequences in diethylstilbestrol-induced kidney tumors in Syrian hamsters.
    • Singh, Lopez-Guerrero, Llombart-Bosch and Roy
    • Mutagenesis
    • 19 : 1
    • Abstract

    We report, for the first time, mutations in the Alu repeat regions in the genome of kidney tumors induced by diethylstilbestrol in Syrian hamsters. Among the 66 loci amplified by 11 random primers, 28 loci exhibited insertions, deletions or losses or gains in intensity in the genome of kidney tumor tissues compared with normal kidney tissues from age-matched hamsters. Higher numbers of mutated Alu loci were observed in the tumors of old hamsters compared with young hamsters. In N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea- and diethylstilbestrol-treated hamsters deletion of a 0.59 kb locus amplified with primer OPC03 was observed in most of the female hamsters, but not in male hamsters. An insertion mutation of a 0.498 kb locus amplified with primer OPC03 was observed in 12 of 36 diethylstilbestrol-induced kidney tumors. The cloning and sequencing of the 0.498 kb locus amplified with primer OPC03 revealed that it had significant sequence similarity to the mouse RIKEN cDNA clone. These findings indicate that age, sex and co-exposure to N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea influence mutations in the Alu repeat sequences in the genome of diethylstilbestrol-induced kidney tumors in Syrian hamsters. Structural alterations in Alu repeats in critical target genes may be involved in diethylstilbestrol-induced carcinogenesis.

    • The inhibitory effects of flavonoids and antiestrogens on the Glut1 glucose transporter in human erythrocytes.
    • Martin, Kornmann and Fuhrmann
    • Chem Biol Interact
    • 146 : 3
    • Abstract

    Flavonoids and isoflavonoids are potent inhibitors of glucose efflux in human erythrocytes. Net changes of sugars inside the cells were measured by right angle light scattering. The inhibitory potency of hydroxylated flavonoids depends on the pH of the medium. The apparent affinity is maximal at low pH where the molecule is in the undissociated form. The following K(i)-values at pH 6.5 in microM have been obtained: phloretin 0.37+/-0.03, myricetin 0.76+/-0.42, quercetin 0.93+/-0.28, kaempferol 1.33+/-0.17, isoliquiritigenin 1.96, genistein 3.92+/-0.62, naringenin 8.88+/-1.88, 7-hydroxyflavone 17.58+/-3.15 and daidzein 18.62+/-2.85. Flavonoids carrying hydroxyl groups are weak acids and are deprotonated at high pH-values. From spectral changes pK-values between 6.80 (naringenin) and 7.73 (myricetin) have been calculated. No such pK-value could be obtained from quercetin which was rather unstable at alkaline pH. Flavone itself without a hydroxyl group does not demonstrate any absorbance changes at different pH-values and no significant change in inhibition of glucose transport with pH (K(i)-value around 35 microM). In this respect it is similar to the antiestrogens diethylstilbestrol, tamoxifen and cyclofenil with K(i)-values for glucose efflux inhibition of 2.61+/-0.30, 6.75+/-2.03 and 3.97+/-0.54 microM. Except for phloretin, the flavonoids investigated have planar structures. The inhibitory activity in glucose efflux of planar flavonoids increases exponentially with the number of hydroxyl groups in the molecule.

    • Study of 202 natural, synthetic, and environmental chemicals for binding to the androgen receptor.
    • Fang, Tong, Branham, Moland, Dial, Hong, Xie, Perkins, Owens and Sheehan
    • Chem Res Toxicol
    • 16 : 10
    • Abstract

    A number of environmental and industrial chemicals are reported to possess androgenic or antiandrogenic activities. These androgenic endocrine disrupting chemicals may disrupt the endocrine system of humans and wildlife by mimicking or antagonizing the functions of natural hormones. The present study developed a low cost recombinant androgen receptor (AR) competitive binding assay that uses no animals. We validated the assay by comparing the protocols and results from other similar assays, such as the binding assay using prostate cytosol. We tested 202 natural, synthetic, and environmental chemicals that encompass a broad range of structural classes, including steroids, diethylstilbestrol and related chemicals, antiestrogens, flutamide derivatives, bisphenol A derivatives, alkylphenols, parabens, alkyloxyphenols, phthalates, siloxanes, phytoestrogens, DDTs, PCBs, pesticides, organophosphate insecticides, and other chemicals. Some of these chemicals are environmentally persistent and/or commercially important, but their AR binding affinities have not been previously reported. To the best of our knowledge, these results represent the largest and most diverse data set publicly available for chemical binding to the AR. Through a careful structure-activity relationship (SAR) examination of the data set in conjunction with knowledge of the recently reported ligand-AR crystal structures, we are able to define the general structural requirements for chemical binding to AR. Hydrophobic interactions are important for AR binding. The interaction between ligand and AR at the 3- and 17-positions of testosterone and R1881 found in other chemical classes are discussed in depth. The SAR studies of ligand binding characteristics for AR are compared to our previously reported results for estrogen receptor binding.

    • Diallyl sulfide inhibits the oxidation and reduction reactions of stilbene estrogens catalyzed by microsomes, mitochondria and nuclei isolated from breast tissue of female ACI rats.
    • Thomas, Green, Wilson and Sadrud-Din
    • Carcinogenesis
    • 25 : 5
    • Abstract

    Previously, it has been demonstrated that microsomal, mitochondrial and nuclear enzymes isolated from the liver of male Sprague-Dawley rats catalyzed the oxidation of diethylstilbestrol (DES) to DES quinone. In the present study we have shown that diallyl sulfide (DAS) inhibits the oxidation of DES to DES quinone in all three subcellular fractions (microsomes, mitochondria and nuclei) isolated from breast tissue of female ACI rats. UV analysis of mitochondrial and microsomal fractions revealed that DAS decreased the rate of DES oxidation to DES quinone and DAS also decreased the rate in which DES quinone was reduced to DES. Lineweaver-Burk plots of the rate of DES quinone formation at various DES and DAS concentrations demonstrated that DAS inhibited the oxidation of DES and the reduction of DES quinone in a non-competitive fashion. In both microsomal and mitochondrial oxidation reactions the K(m) remained constant whereas the V(max) decreased with increasing DAS (0, 186 and 373 microM) concentrations (microsomes K(m) = 80 microM; V(max) = 5.56, 4.16 and 3.33 nmol/mg protein/min; mitochondria K(m) = 35.7 microM; V(max) = 3.45, 2.44 and 1.82 nmol/mg protein/min). Results were similar for reduction reactions. HPLC analysis revealed that a concentration of 186 microM DAS inhibited the mitochondrial, microsomal and nuclear oxidation by 27, 35 and 40%, respectively. A concentration of 373 microM DAS inhibited the mitochondrial, microsomal and nuclear oxidation by 50, 52 and 60% respectively. The data provide direct evidence that the breast tissue contain the metabolic machinery required to oxidize DES to reactive intermediates that may lead to genetic instability and cancer. This inhibition may play a role in the chemoprevention of stilbene estrogen-induced breast cancer.

    • The intact immature rodent uterotrophic bioassay: possible effects on assay sensitivity of vomeronasal signals from male rodents and strain differences.
    • Ashby, Owens, Odum and Tinwell
    • Environ Health Perspect
    • 111 : 12
    • Abstract

    The vomeronasal organ in rodents is an important social and sexual signaling pathway. We have investigated whether the housing of intact immature females in close proximity to mature males would interfere with the sensitivity of the immature rodent uterotrophic bioassay as the result of vomeronasal signals transmitted by male urinary proteins. The hypothesis was that the proximity of males might induce early puberty, thereby increasing mean uterine weight and reducing the responsiveness of the assay. The hypothesis was tested in both rats and mice by housing mature males above immature females, separated only by a wire screen, for 3 days and determining possible changes in uterine weight. The results were negative. Neither the mean uterine weight nor the group mean standard deviation of the uterine weights were changed in the uterotrophic bioassay. Given that the timing of sexual maturation may vary with the strain of mouse used, we also evaluated the sensitivity of the immature mouse uterotrophic assay to diethylstilbestrol (DES) using four strains of mice. Similar sensitivity was observed for the CD-1, C57Bl6, and Alpk strains, but B6CBF(1) mice were marginally less sensitive to DES than were the other strains. These findings add to earlier data indicating the robustness of the rodent uterotrophic assay protocol.

    • Activation of estrogen receptor alpha and ERbeta by 4-methylbenzylidene-camphor in human and rat cells: comparison with phyto- and xenoestrogens.
    • Mueller, Kling, Arifin Firzani, Mecky, Duranti, Shields-Botella, Delansorne, Broschard and Kramer
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 142 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    4-Methylbenzylidene-camphor (4-MBC) is an organic sunscreen that protects against UV radiation and may therefore help in the prevention of skin cancer. Recent results on the estrogenicity of 4-MBC have raised concerns about a potential of 4-MBC to act as an endocrine disruptor. Here, we investigated the direct interaction of 4-MBC with estrogen receptor (ER) alpha and ERbeta in a series of studies including receptor binding, ER transactivation and functional tests in human and rat cells. 4-MBC induced alkaline phosphatase activity, a surrogate marker for estrogenic activity, in human endometrial Ishikawa cells. Interestingly, 4-MBC induced weakly ERalpha and with a higher potency ERbeta mediated transactivation in Ishikawa cells at doses more than 1 microM, but showed no distinct binding affinity to ERalpha or ERbeta. In addition, 4-MBC was an effective antagonist for ERalpha and ERbeta. In an attempt to put 4-MBC's estrogenic activity into perspective we compared binding affinity and potency to activate ER with phyto- and xenoestrogens. 4-MBC showed lower estrogenic potency than genistein, coumestrol, resveratrol, bisphenol A and also camphor. Analysis of a potential metabolic activation of 4-MBC that could account for 4-MBC's more distinct estrogenic effects observed in vivo revealed that no estrogenic metabolites of 4-MBC are formed in primary rat or human hepatocytes. In conclusion, we were able to show that 4-MBC is able to induce ERalpha and ERbeta activity. However, for a hazard assessment of 4-MBC's estrogenic effects, the very high doses of 4-MBC required to elicit the reported effects, its anti-estrogenic properties as well as its low estrogenic potency compared to phytoestrogens and camphor has to be taken into account.

    • Effects of exogenous estrogenic agents on pubertal growth and reproductive system maturation in female rhesus monkeys.
    • Golub, Hogrefe, Germann, Lasley, Natarajan and Tarantal
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 74 : 1
    • Abstract

    Concern has been raised that environmental contaminants with estrogenic properties can alter normal sexual maturation. Monkeys, like humans, undergo a long and complex period of development during adolescence, which makes them important models for understanding exogenous estrogen effects during this period. This study examined the consequences of treatment with estrogenic agents (methoxychlor, MXC, 25 and 50 mg/kg/day; diethylstilbestrol, DES, 0.5 mg/kg/day) given in the peripubertal period (6 months before and after the expected age at menarche) to female rhesus monkeys. These treatments increased estrogen activity of serum as determined with an in vitro estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) transcription assay. DES completely suppressed adolescent growth (weight and height) and menses in a reversible manner; smaller effects of MXC on the timing of growth and menarche were also detected. Both DES and MXC led to premature emergence of a secondary sex characteristic, reddening and swelling of skin, but retarded growth of the nipple. As evaluated by ultrasound after an 8-month recovery period, uterine size was not affected by exogenous estrogen, but there was some indication of increased incidence of ovarian cysts/masses in MXC- and DES-treated groups. Ovarian cyclicity, as reflected in urinary hormone metabolites, demonstrated shorter follicular stages in the MXC-treated monkeys. In conclusion, the data indicate that DES had a striking effect on adolescent maturation and that the estrogenic pesticide MXC also altered development during this period. The pattern of effects across agents and doses may be based on specifics of estrogenic action, such as relative ERalpha and ERbeta binding and activation. Long-term consequences of this disruption of pubertal development are being studied in this cohort of monkeys as adults.

    • A data mining approach for the elucidation of the action of putative etiological agents: application to the non-genotoxic carcinogenicity of genistein.
    • Rosenkranz
    • Mutat Res
    • 526 : 1-2
    • Abstract

    A procedure designated "the virtual similarity index" (VSI) is described to determine the probability that two or more toxicants are related mechanistically. The approach is structure-activity relationship (SAR) based and generates the virtual toxicological profiles of the chemicals under investigation. It also determines the similarities between them. That commonality is compared to the frequency with which it is found among a population of 10,000 chemicals representing the "universe of chemicals". The similarities between the candidate chemicals and chemicals known to act by other recognized mechanisms are also determined. If the similarities between the candidate chemicals are significantly greater than for the non-related ones, the chemicals are assumed to act by a common mechanism. In that context, the putative non-genotoxic mechanism responsible for the carcinogenicity of genistein (GEN) and its relationship to the action of diethylstilbestrol is examined.

    • The leading role and responsibility of the international scientific community in test development.
    • Ashby
    • Toxicol Lett
    • 140-141
    • Abstract

    The possibility that one or more environmental factors may be affecting adversely the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife has been the subject of international study for the past 7 years. Irrespective of which factors are the most important contributors to the perceived problem; the decision has been taken to evaluate synthetic chemicals for such chemical toxicities. This decision requires access to reliable and relevant endocrine disruption (ED) assays. However, few such tests currently exist, albeit many candidate assays are currently under development. Faced with this situation, the US Environmental Protection Agency has taken the lead in supporting the development and validation of appropriate ED assays. Two of these assays, the rodent uterotrophic assay and the Hershberger anti-androgen assay, are in the final stages of validation, a project conducted under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic and Commercial Development. This article describes the particular scientific issues associated with the validation of these two assays and alerts to the continuing need to consider new assay protocols as they become available.

    • Time- and dose-related effects of estradiol and diethylstilbestrol on the morphology and function of the fetal rat testis in culture.
    • Lassurguère, Livera, Habert and Jégou
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 73 : 1
    • Abstract

    The mechanisms underlying the action of estrogens in the fetal testis are still largely obscure. In particular, whether this action is direct or indirect remains largely unexplored. This study was aimed at investigating the effect of estradiol (E2) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) on the testis from 14.5-day-old rat fetuses in culture, at concentrations ranging from 4 x 10(-10) M (Kd of E2 for the estrogen receptors [ER]: 1-4 x 10(-10) M) to 4 x 10(-6) M (concentration previously shown in the literature to affect in vitro gonocyte proliferation). Exposure to DES and E2 decreased gonocyte number, the effects of DES being much more drastic than those of E2. Gonocyte number decreased in a concentration-dependent manner (day 3: -5%, -16%, and -80% at 4 x 10(-10) M, 4 x 10(-8) M, and 4 x 10(-6)M of DES, respectively), as well as in a time-dependent manner (at 4 x 10(-6) M DES: -31% on day 1, -60% on day 2, and -80% on day 3). This was due to a decrease in the gonocyte mitotic index and a dramatic increase in apoptosis. Importantly, in the presence of the anti-estrogen ICI 182.780 (ICI), the effect of DES was abolished. Sertoli cell number subsequently decreased (day 3), although the rate of apoptosis did not increase. These changes were less dramatic than those observed with gonocytes and were due to a decrease in Sertoli cell proliferation, which was not antagonized by ICI. Addition of 4 x 10(-6) M DES had no effect on basal Sertoli cell cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate (cAMP) levels or on follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-stimulated cAMP production after adjustment for Sertoli cell number. Finally, estrogens reduced both Leydig cell number (-26% on day 3, 4 x 10(-6) M DES) and basal and luteinizing hormone (LH)-stimulated testosterone production. The latter effects were antagonized by ICI. In conclusion: 1) E2 and DES induce alterations in the germ line and in somatic cells; 2) gonocyte alteration was the first event detected, and the action of estrogens at this level was mediated by ER, as is the case in Leydig cells; and 3) these data should help us to understand estrogen effects on the fetus and should be considered in the context of the debate on environmental estrogens.

    • The effects of the phytoestrogen genistein on the postnatal development of the rat.
    • Lewis, Brooks, Milburn, Soames, Stone, Hall and Ashby
    • Toxicol Sci
    • 71 : 1
    • Abstract

    The present studies report the effects on neonatal rats of oral exposure to genistein during the period from birth to postnatal day (PND) 21 to generate data for use in assessing human risk following oral ingestion of genistein. Failure to demonstrate significant exposure of the newborn pups via the mothers milk led us to subcutaneously inject genistein into the pups over the period PND 1-7, followed by daily gavage dosing to PND 21. The targeted doses throughout were 4 mg/kg/day genistein (equivalent to the average exposure of infants to total isoflavones in soy milk) and a dose 10 times higher than this (40 mg/kg genistein). The dose used during the injection phase of the experiment was based on plasma determinations of genistein and its major metabolites. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) at 10 micro g/kg was used as a positive control agent for assessment of changes in the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA). Administration of 40 mg/kg