Correlation of endocrine disrupting chemicals serum levels and white blood cells gene expression of nuclear receptors in a population of infertile women

Int J Endocrinol. 2013;2013:510703. doi: 10.1155/2013/510703. Epub 2013 Apr 21.

Abstract

Significant evidence supports that many endocrine disrupting chemicals could affect female reproductive health. Aim of this study was to compare the internal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), monoethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in serum samples of 111 infertile women and 44 fertile women. Levels of gene expression of nuclear receptors (ER α , ER β , AR, AhR, PXR, and PPAR γ ) were also analyzed as biomarkers of effective dose. The percentage of women with BPA concentrations above the limit of detection was significantly higher in infertile women than in controls. No statistically significant difference was found with regard to PFOS, PFOA, MEHP and DEHP. Infertile patients showed gene expression levels of ER α , ER β , AR, and PXR significantly higher than controls. In infertile women, a positive association was found between BPA and MEHP levels and ER α , ER β , AR, AhR, and PXR expression. PFOS concentration positively correlated with AR and PXR expression. PFOA levels negatively correlated with AhR expression. No correlation was found between DEHP levels and all evaluated nuclear receptors. This study underlines the need to provide special attention to substances that are still widely present in the environment and to integrate exposure measurements with relevant indicators of biological effects.