Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 389–402 | Cite as

Impact of diethylhexyl phthalate on gene expression and development of mammary glands of pregnant mouse

  • Lan Li
  • Jing-Cai Liu
  • Yong Zhao
  • Fang-Nong Lai
  • Fan Yang
  • Wei Ge
  • Cheng-Li Dou
  • Wei Shen
  • Xi-Feng ZhangEmail author
  • Hong ChenEmail author
Original Paper


The widely used diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is a known endocrine disruptor that causes persistent alterations in the structure and function of female reproductive system, including ovaries, uterus and oviducts. To explore the molecular mechanism of the effect of DEHP on the development of mammary glands, we investigated the cell cycle, growth, proliferation and gene expression of mammary gland cells of pregnant mice exposed to DEHP. It was demonstrated, for the first time, that the mammary gland cells of pregnant mice treated with DEHP for 0.5–3.5 days post-coitum had increased proliferation, growth rate and number of cells in the G2/S phase. The expression of cell proliferation-related genes was significantly altered after short time and low-dose DEHP treatment of mammary gland cells in vivo and in vitro. These findings showed adverse effects of DEHP on mammary gland cells in pregnant mice.


DEHP Mammary gland Gene expression pattern Microarray 



This work was supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (31201120) and Nature Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2011CDB230) to X. F. Zhang, and Nature Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province (ZD201304) to L. Li.

Compliance with Ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interest.

Supplementary material

418_2015_1348_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)
418_2015_1348_MOESM2_ESM.docx (523 kb)
Fig. S1 Intracellular ROS levels assayed using DHE and DCFH-DA fluorescent probes in mammary gland cells of pregnant mice exposed to DEHP. (A-B) Intracellular ROS was measured by flow cytometry (DHE and DCFH-DA). (C-D) Average intensity of DHE and DCFH-DA fluorescence in mammary gland cells of pregnant mice exposed to DEHP. (E) The mRNA levels of genes in mammary gland cells were analyzed by RT-qPCR. The results are presented as mean ± SD. Asterisk (* or **) indicates significant difference (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). (DOCX 522 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lan Li
    • 1
  • Jing-Cai Liu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yong Zhao
    • 2
    • 4
  • Fang-Nong Lai
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fan Yang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wei Ge
    • 2
  • Cheng-Li Dou
    • 2
  • Wei Shen
    • 2
  • Xi-Feng Zhang
    • 5
    Email author
  • Hong Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F UniversityShaanxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for AgricultureYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Reproductive Sciences, Key Laboratory of Animal Reproduction and Germplasm Enhancement in Universities of Shandong, College of Animal Science and TechnologyQingdao Agricultural UniversityQingdaoChina
  3. 3.College of Life ScienceQingdao Agricultural UniversityQingdaoChina
  4. 4.College of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical SciencesQingdao Agricultural UniversityQingdaoChina
  5. 5.College of Biological and Pharmaceutical EngineeringWuhan Polytechnic UniversityWuhanChina

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