The effect of triclosan on hormone secretion and viability of human choriocarcinoma JEG-3 cells

Reprod Toxicol. 2012 Nov;34(3):385-92. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2012.05.094. Epub 2012 Jun 4.


Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent frequently used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. We analyzed triclosan for its action on placental secretion of progesterone, estradiol and human chorionic gonadotropin in vitro in the JEG-3 cells. We also investigated its action on cell viability, proliferation and apoptosis. The JEG-3 cells were cultured with increasing doses of triclosan (1×10(-9)-1×10(-4) M) for 24, 48 and 72 h. Triclosan was found to increase estradiol and progesterone secretion after short- and long-term exposure. The stimulatory effect was observed up to 10 μM after short- and long-term exposure to triclosan. In addition, triclosan caused an adverse effect on β-hCG secretion. The highest doses of triclosan (50 and 100 μM) showed a strong cytotoxic effect. Anti proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects were also observed. Overall, this study demonstrates that triclosan may indirectly disrupt steroidogenesis which may, in turn, affect placental development and consequently fetal growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / toxicity*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Triclosan / toxicity*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Hormones
  • Triclosan
  • Caspase 3