Evidence is available that some endocrine disruptors, acting as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), interfere with osteoblast differentiation and function. Therefore, we investigated whether 17beta-estradiol, bisphenol-A (BSP), silymarin, genistein, resveratrol, procymidone, linurone and benzophenone-3 (BP3) modulate differentiation of rat calvarial osteoblast-like (ROB) cells in primary in vitro culture. Disruptors were added at day 18 of culture and cells were harvested 48 h later. Real time-PCR revealed that estradiol and resveratrol enhanced osteocalcin mRNA expression in ROB cells, while other disruptors were ineffective. The expression of osteonectin and collagen-1alpha was not affected by any disruptor. Estradiol, resveratrol, genistein and BSP stimulated the proliferative activity of ROB cells. In contrast, procymidone and linurone inhibited the proliferative activity, and silymarin and BP3 were ineffective. The conclusion is drawn that i) only resveratrol is able, like estradiol, to stimulate the specialized functions of ROB cells, and ii) the proliferative activity of ROB cells is more sensitive to endocrine disruptors, some of which could probably act via a mechanism independent of their SERM activity.