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Rune Dietz

The endocrine disruption properties of an adipose contaminant mixture extracted from East Greenland polar bears studied in the H295R cell line

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In recent years there has been much debate on the potential risk of chemicals that have been classified as endocrine disruption compounds (EDCs). Human and environmental risk assessment of EDCs is a challenge since the exposure to humans and wildlife is a complex mixture of many known and unknown compounds, where some can be in the parts-perbillion (ppb) concentration range. However, most reported studies on endocrine disruption effects have been on single compounds at concentrations higher than environmentally relevant. The presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic wildlife has been well described and especially the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is recognized as being one of the most contaminated species in the Arctic. The present study investigated the in vitro endocrine disruptive effects of the POP mixture found in adipose tissue from 10 East Greenland polar bears collected in 2011. Specifically, the tissue extracts were tested for steroidogenic activity in the human adrenocortical carcinoma cell line H295R. These extracts contained a complex mixture of measured polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). GC-MS/MS analysis showed that all 10 adipose extracts caused significant changes to the hormone levels in H295R compared to solvent controls. Levels of progestagens expressed upstream of the enzyme CYP17 (pregnenolone and progesterone) increased with a corresponding decrease in androgens expressed downstream (dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione). These results demonstrated comprehensive in vitro effects of POPs extracted from polar bear adipose tissue on key elements in the steroidogenesis, and identifies disruption of CYP17 activity as a mode of action. A POP-induced interference with CYP17 can potentially explain previously observed hormone levels in polar bears and could pose a risk to their reproductive health.
StatusUdgivet - 2014
BegivenhedSETAC Europe 24th Annual Meeting: Society of Enviromental Toxicology and Chemistry - Congress center Basel, Basel, Schweiz
Varighed: 11 maj 201415 maj 2014


KonferenceSETAC Europe 24th Annual Meeting
LokationCongress center Basel

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