Multigenerational study of the hepatic effects exerted by the consumption of nonylphenol- and 4-octylphenol-contaminated drinking water in Sprague-Dawley rats

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007 Jan;23(1):73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2006.07.004. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


Our multigenerational study evaluates the hepatic effects of the xenoestrogens nonylphenol (NP), and 4-octylphenol (4OP) on male and female rats when they are exposed uninterruptedly, from conception to adult age, to tap water containing 25ppm of NP or 4OP. Our results showed that these compounds did not induce any change in liver/body weight ratio (relative liver weight, RLW). In the morphological analysis we did not find evident signs of cytotoxicity. The most relevant findings were the presence of both an increase in the apoptotic index and in the percentage of binuclear hepatocytes in livers from exposed animals. Additionally, our study revealed the presence of hepatocellular glycogenosis (mainly in 4OP-exposed rats): the type of glycogen accumulated was in aggregates (gamma-glycogen), a non-functional form of glycogen. This study demonstrates that, at levels close to those described in the environment, NP and 4OP are capable of inducing a number of hepatic effects, potentially related with adaptive, and/or metabolic alterations of liver tissue.