Sub-chronic exposure to low concentration of dibutyl phthalate affects anthropometric parameters and markers of obesity in rats

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Nov;24(32):25462-25467. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9952-y. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


Dibutyl phthalate is an important phthalate ester extensively used in various products like plastics, adhesives, inks, pharmaceuticals, lacquers, varnishes, paper coatings, safety glasses, and cosmetics. The exposure of DBP to "one's health" is therefore inevitable. The present study focuses on elucidating the effect of low doses of DBP on anthropometric parameters and markers of obesity in rats in a 13-week study. A total of 48 rats were divided into three treatment groups as mg DBP/kg body weight per day: (a) 0 mg/kg (control), (b) 10 mg/kg (DBP-10), and (c) 50 mg/kg (DBP-50). The rats in each treatment (n = 16) were further equally divided into male and female rats for studying treatment and gender interaction. Anthropometric parameters, nutritional determinants, and markers of obesity in rats were studied. Two-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data (p < 0.05). Tukey's post hoc test was used for pairwise comparisons. DBP increased body weight gain, feed efficiency, abdominal to thoracic circumference ratio, and body mass index in rats. Serum cholesterol and alkaline phosphatase concentrations decreased with DBP treatment. Serum albumin, glucose, creatinine, and alanine transaminase increased with DBP treatments. Serum lactate dehydrogenase increased in DBP-10 but was not affected by DBP-50. Further low-dose investigations are needed to assess non-monotonic dose responses.

Keywords: Dibutyl phthalate; Endocrine disruptors; Obesity, anthropometric characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Body Weights and Measures*
  • Dibutyl Phthalate / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Rats


  • Biomarkers
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Dibutyl Phthalate