The Role of Endocrine and Dioxin-Like Activity of Extracts of Petroleum Substances in Developmental Toxicity as Detected in a Panel of CALUX Reporter Gene Assays

Lenny Kamelia*, Jochem Louisse, Laura de Haan, Anna Maslowska-Gornicz, Hans B. Ketelslegers, Abraham Brouwer, Ivonne M.C.M. Rietjens, Peter J. Boogaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that the interaction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), present in some petroleum substances (PS), with particular nuclear-hormone-receptors and/or the dioxin (aryl hydrocarbon receptor [AhR]) receptor, may play a role in the prenatal developmental toxicity (PDT) induced by these substances. To address this hypothesis, we evaluated the possible endocrine and dioxin-like activity of the dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)-extracts of 9 PS, varying in PAH content, and 2 gas-to-liquid (GTL) products, containing no PAHs but having similar other properties as PS, using a series of Chemical Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (CALUX) assays. The results show that the extracts of PS tested in this study possess various endocrine and dioxin-like activities and these in vitro potencies are associated with the quantity and type of PAHs they contain. All tested DMSO-extracts of PS show a strong AhR agonist activity and rather weak antiprogesterone, antiandrogen, and estrogenic activities. In the assays that evaluate thyroid-related and antiestrogen activity, onlyminor effects of specific extracts, particularly those with a substantial amount of 4-5 ring PAHs, ie, sample No. 34, 98, and 99, were observed. None of the GTL extracts interacted with the selected receptors. Of all assays, the AhR agonist activity correlates best (R2 = 0.80) with the in vitro PDT of the substances as quantified previously in the embryonic stemcell test, suggesting an important role of the AhR inmediating this effect. Hierarchic clustering of the combined CALUX data clustered the compounds in line with their chemical characteristics, suggesting a PS class-specific effects signature in the various CALUX assays, depending on the PAH profile. To conclude, our findings indicate a high potential for endocrine and dioxin-like activity of some PS extracts which correlates with their in vitro PDT and is driven by the PAHs present in these substances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-591
JournalToxicological sciences
Volume164
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • dioxin-like activity
  • endocrine activity
  • petroleum substances
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • prenatal developmental toxicity
  • reporter gene assays

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