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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Toxic effects of in vitro exposure to p-tert-octylphenol on bovine oocyte maturation and developmental competence.

Alkylphenolic compounds are a widespread family of xenoestrogens. High concentrations of these substances are present in sewage sludge that is spread on arable land and pasture as fertilizer. Because of their known endocrine system-disrupting activity, alkylphenols represent a potential risk for the reproductive health of farm animals. In this study, the impact of p-tert-octylphenol (OP) on the developmental competence of bovine oocytes was evaluated. Endocrine activity of OP was investigated for its effect on estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ERalpha and ERbeta) and progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA levels. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were exposed during in vitro maturation to serial concentrations of OP (1-0.0001 microg/ml) and were compared with vehicle-treated controls and a group of COCs treated with 17 beta-estradiol (E2). A dose-related decrease in the percentage of oocytes that completed maturation after 24 h and in oocyte fertilization competence was observed at doses of OP as low as 0.01 microg/ml. Groups treated with > or =0.001 microg/ml OP showed impaired embryo development. No adverse effects of E2 were observed. In the E2-treated COCs, ERalpha mRNA was decreased but PR mRNA was upregulated compared with controls. Treatment with 0.001 and 0.0001 microg/ml OP induced a decrease in ERalpha mRNA, but ERbeta and PR mRNA were not affected. Treatment with 0.01 microg/ml OP did not produce changes in the expression of any of the mRNAs studied. OP impairs meiotic progression and developmental competence of bovine oocytes without demonstrating clear estrogen-mimic activity.[1]


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