[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The thyroid endocrine axis is of remarkable importance as the biologic effects of the thyroid hormones (TH), which are mainly mediated through the thyroid hormone receptors (TR), are essential for growth, development, cellular differentiation and metabolism. During the last years, a great effort has been put in the design and establishment of integrated and intelligent testing strategies for the evaluation of the potential adverse effects of chemicals on the TH mode of action, particularly in the development of in vitro assays. In this study, a stable reporter gene assay was developed using the TH-responsive rat pituitary GH3 cell line, that constitutively expresses both TR isoforms. The functional test system proved highly reproducible with triiodothyronine and thyroxine effect concentrations in the picomolar range that can already be quantified after 24 h of exposure. The GH3.TRE-Luc assay was subsequently applied for screening the US Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC, 1281 chemicals) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP1408, 1408 chemicals) libraries in an automated 1536-well plate quantitative High Throughput Screening platform. Again the assay proved to be very robust and reproducible, and although the usually most active hydroxylated metabolites of poly halogenated aromatic compounds were not included in these chemicals collections, a number of potential agonists and antagonists were identified.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present paper aims at clarifying to what extent seven food-associated compounds, shown before to be estrogenic in vitro, can induce estrogenic effects in male mice with an estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated luciferase (luc) reporter gene system. The luc induction was determined in different tissues 8h after dosing the ER-luc male mice intraperitoneally (IP) or 14h after oral dosing. Estradiol-propionate (EP) was used as a positive control at 0.3 and 1mg/kg bodyweight (bw), DMSO as solvent control. The food-associated estrogenic compounds tested at non-toxic doses were bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenol (NP) (both at 10 and 50mg/kgbw), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; at 5 and 25mg/kgbw), quercetin (at 1.66 and 16.6mg/kgbw), di-isoheptyl phthalate (DIHP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA) all at 30 and 100mg/kgbw. In general IP dosing resulted in higher luc inductions than oral dosing. EP induced luc activity in the liver in a statistically significant dose-related way with the highest induction of all compounds tested which was 20,000 times higher than the induction by the DMSO-control. NP, DDE, DEHA and DIHP did not induce luc activity in any of the tissues tested. BPA induced luc in the liver up to 420 times via both exposure routes. BPA, DEHP and quercetin induced luc activity in the liver after oral exposure. BPA (50mg/kgbw IP) also induced luc activity in the testis, kidneys and tibia. The current study reveals that biomarker-responses in ER-luc male mice occur after a single oral exposure to food-associated estrogenic model compounds at exposure levels 10 to 10(4) times higher than the established TDI's for some of these compounds. Given the facts that (i) the present study did not include chronic exposure and that (ii) simultaneous exposure to multiple estrogenic compounds may be a realistic exposure scenario, it remains to be seen whether this margin is sufficiently high.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amphibian metamorphosis assays are used to evaluate potential effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on the thyroid hormone axis. In this study, Xenopus laevis tadpoles are kept in a solution of 0.2% thiourea (TU) to arrest and synchronise them in their development. The advantage of this synchronized amphibian metamorphosis assays is that synchronised tadpoles are available at any time to start metamorphosis experiments, and experimental groups are much more homogenous at the start of experimental exposure compared with groups selected from an untreated pool of animals. The water volume per animal was kept constant throughout the experimental period to overcome the influence of declining numbers of animals per aquarium due to metamorphosis and mortality on the density dependent development of the remaining tadpoles. Clophen A50 (a technical PCB mixture), the single congener 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77) and apolar sediment extracts that were previously tested positive in the T-Screen, an in vitro proliferation assay for thyroid hormone disruption, were tested in the Synchronized Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay. Endpoints studied were mortality, malformations, body weight, and percentage of metamorphosed froglets at the end of the 60-day experimental period, percentage of tadpoles in different developmental stages, and developmental stage-dependent awarded penalty points. Dietary exposure to Clophen A50 (0.2-50mg/kg food) resulted in a significant increased percentage of tadpoles that did not pass metamorphosis at concentrations higher than 2mg/kg food. Time until metamorphosis in those animals that were able to metamorphose after the 60-days experimental period was significantly decreased. Dietary exposure to PCB 77, a congener that can be readily metabolised, did not result in significant effects in any exposure group (2-500 microg/kg food). Apolar sediment extracts from two of the three sites that are contaminated with a wide variety of chemicals significantly decreased the percentage of metamorphosed animals and significantly increased the number of tadpoles that remained in early and late metamorphic stages. These effects already occurred when the extracts where diluted more than 1000 times (on an organic carbon base) compared to environmental concentrations. The rank of potency was comparable to results obtained with the T-screen. This suggests the presence of thyroid hormone disrupting compounds in the aquatic environment and possible effects of such compounds on animal development in the wild.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study describes biomarker effects in small mammals exposed to traffic emissions. Animals were collected at 10-50 m (site 1), 150-200 m (site 2), and 5 km (site 3) from a very busy highway (A2). To distinguish between routes of exposure, strictly carnivorous common shrews ( Sorex araneus) and predominantly herbivorous bank voles ( Clethrionomys glareolus) were collected. As a measure of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), aromatic DNA adduct levels were determined by (32)P-postlabeling techniques in tissue from heart, lung, and liver. Lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and copper (Cu) levels were analyzed in kidney as a measure of exposure to heavy metals. EROD and PROD activity and retinoid levels were determined in liver as effect biomarkers for exposure to PAHs and polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs). Relatively high Cd levels in S. araneus and in particular elevated DNA adduct levels in C. glareolus indicated that small mammals at site 3 were exposed to more compounds than at sites 1 and 2 (3 > or = 1 > 2). The latter effect is probably due to an incidental and actual input of airborne pollutants that is deposited on plant surfaces. By consumption of above-ground vegetation, voles are chronically exposed to this pollution. Relatively high background input of PAHs probably hinders that the traffic-related gradient of airborne PAH concentrations found in an earlier study is reflected in DNA adduct levels in small mammals in the present study. Moreover, historical biomarkers for exposure to traffic emissions, such as increased kidney Pb levels, increased hepatic EROD activity, and disturbed hepatic vitamin A homeostasis are no longer applicable to indicate differences in exposure. This is a result of the ban on addition of Pb and chlorinated scavengers to gasoline and of cleaner combustion techniques, which were enforced by law over the past decade. Finally, it is advisable to use only juvenile small mammals for in situ monitoring of diffuse pollution because DNA adduct levels increased with age.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 10/2002; 43(3):345-55. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental contamination may be one cause of the high level of parasitic infections and high death rates of eiders in the Wadden Sea where, among other contaminants, high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) occur.To study this problem, four-week-old eider ducklings were exposed to single doses of 3,3′,4,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl (CB 77; 5 or 50 mg i.p./kg) or Clophen A50 (50 or 200 mg i.p./kg). The control group was injected with corn oil only (5 ml/kg). A dose-dependent induction of the hepatic monooxygenase system was only found in ducklings treated with CB77. Clophen A50 (Clo A50) showed no effect.Comparison of CB patterns in the Clo A50-injected groups with the original mixture revealed differences associated with molecular structure: only CBs with vicinal hydrogen atoms in the meta- and para-positions had