Transcript profiling in the testes and prostates of postnatal day 30 Sprague-Dawley rats exposed prenatally and lactationally to 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone

Reprod Toxicol. 2018 Dec;82:111-123. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Oct 11.


2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (HMB) is an ultraviolet light-absorbing compound that is used in sunscreens, cosmetics and plastics. HMB has been reported to have weak estrogenic activity by in vivo and in vitro studies, making it a chemical with potential reproductive concern. To explore if prenatal and lactational HMB exposure alters gene expression profiles of the developing reproductive organs, we performed microarray analysis using the prostate and testis of postnatal day (PND) 30 male Sprague-Dawley rats offspring exposed to 0, 3000, or 30,000 ppm of HMB from gestational day 6 through PND 21. Gene expression profiles of the prostate and testis were differentially affected by HMB dose with significant alterations observed at the 30,000 ppm HMB group. Tissue-specific gene expression was also identified. These genes, whose expression was altered by HMB exposure, may be considered as candidate biomarker(s) for testicular or prostatic toxicity; however, further studies are necessary to explore this potential.

Keywords: 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (HMB); Gene expression profiling; Mitochondria; Prenatal and lactational exposure; Prostate; Rats; Testis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzophenones / toxicity*
  • Cosmetics / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Prostate / drug effects*
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Benzophenones
  • Cosmetics
  • oxybenzone