Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 6482–6494

Assessment of combined antiandrogenic effects of binary parabens mixtures in a yeast-based reporter assay

  • Dehua Ma
  • Lujun Chen
  • Xiaobiao Zhu
  • Feifei Li
  • Cong Liu
  • Rui Liu
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-014-2497-4

Cite this article as:
Ma, D., Chen, L., Zhu, X. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2014) 21: 6482. doi:10.1007/s11356-014-2497-4

Abstract

To date, toxicological studies of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have typically focused on single chemical exposures and associated effects. However, exposure to EDCs mixtures in the environment is common. Antiandrogens represent a group of EDCs, which draw increasing attention due to their resultant demasculinization and sexual disruption of aquatic organisms. Although there are a number of in vivo and in vitro studies investigating the combined effects of antiandrogen mixtures, these studies are mainly on selected model compounds such as flutamide, procymidone, and vinclozolin. The aim of the present study is to investigate the combined antiandrogenic effects of parabens, which are widely used antiandrogens in industrial and domestic commodities. A yeast-based human androgen receptor (hAR) assay (YAS) was applied to assess the antiandrogenic activities of n-propylparaben (nPrP), iso-propylparaben (iPrP), methylparaben (MeP), and 4-n-pentylphenol (PeP), as well as the binary mixtures of nPrP with each of the other three antiandrogens. All of the four compounds could exhibit antiandrogenic activity via the hAR. A linear interaction model was applied to quantitatively analyze the interaction between nPrP and each of the other three antiandrogens. The isoboles method was modified to show the variation of combined effects as the concentrations of mixed antiandrogens were changed. Graphs were constructed to show isoeffective curves of three binary mixtures based on the fitted linear interaction model and to evaluate the interaction of the mixed antiandrogens (synergism or antagonism). The combined effect of equimolar combinations of the three mixtures was also considered with the nonlinear isoboles method. The main effect parameters and interaction effect parameters in the linear interaction models of the three mixtures were different from zero. The results showed that any two antiandrogens in their binary mixtures tended to exert equal antiandrogenic activity in the linear concentration ranges. The antiandrogenicity of the binary mixture and the concentration of nPrP were fitted to a sigmoidal model if the concentrations of the other antiandrogens (iPrP, MeP, and PeP) in the mixture were lower than the AR saturation concentrations. Some concave isoboles above the additivity line appeared in all the three mixtures. There were some synergistic effects of the binary mixture of nPrP and MeP at low concentrations in the linear concentration ranges. Interesting, when the antiandrogens concentrations approached the saturation, the interaction between chemicals were antagonistic for all the three mixtures tested. When the toxicity of the three mixtures was assessed using nonlinear isoboles, only antagonism was observed for equimolar combinations of nPrP and iPrP as the concentrations were increased from the no-observed-effect-concentration (NOEC) to effective concentration of 80 %. In addition, the interactions were changed from synergistic to antagonistic as effective concentrations were increased in the equimolar combinations of nPrP and MeP, as well as nPrP and PeP. The combined effects of three binary antiandrogens mixtures in the linear ranges were successfully evaluated by curve fitting and isoboles. The combined effects of specific binary mixtures varied depending on the concentrations of the chemicals in the mixtures. At low concentrations in the linear concentration ranges, there was synergistic interaction existing in the binary mixture of nPrP and MeP. The interaction tended to be antagonistic as the antiandrogens approached saturation concentrations in mixtures of nPrP with each of the other three antiandrogens. The synergistic interaction was also found in the equimolar combinations of nPrP and MeP, as well as nPrP and PeP, at low concentrations with another method of nonlinear isoboles. The mixture activities of binary antiandrogens had a tendency towards antagonism at high concentrations and synergism at low concentrations.

Keywords

Endocrine disrupting chemicals Antiandrogen Combined effect Parabens N-propylparaben Isoboles 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dehua Ma
    • 1
  • Lujun Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaobiao Zhu
    • 1
  • Feifei Li
    • 1
  • Cong Liu
    • 1
  • Rui Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Science and TechnologyJiaxingChina

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