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Human beings are increasingly exposed to phthalates, which are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break, and simultaneously ingesting abundant food emulsifiers via daily diet. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the food emulsifier glycerin monostearate (GMS) on male reproductive toxicity caused by di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, one of the phthalates) and explore the underlying mechanism. Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into control group, DEHP group and DEHP+GMS group. Rats in the DEHP group and DEHP+GMS group were orally administered with 200 mg/kg/d DEHP with or without 20 mg/kg/d GMS. After 30 days of continuous intervention, it was found that the serum testosterone level was significantly lowered in DEHP group and DEHP+GMS group than that in control group (P<0.01). The serum testosterone level and the relative testis weight were significantly decreased in the DEHP+GMS group as compared with those in the DEHP group and control group (P<0.05). More spermatids were observed to be shed off in DEHP+GMS group than in DEHP group. The expression levels of cell cycle checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), cell division cycle gene 2 (Cdc2), and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) were down-regulated in DEHP group, and this tendency was more significant in DEHP+GMS group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). There was no significant difference in the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) expression between DEHP group and control group. However, P-gp was markedly down-regulated in DEHP+GMS group (P<0.01). The results indicated that the food emulsifier GMS aggravated the toxicity of DEHP on male reproduction by inhibiting the cell cycle of testicular cells and the expression of P-gp in testis tissues.


Hai-Tao Gao, Hong-Yi Shi, Qi-Meng Dai, An-Qi Li, Liu Yang, Yue Sun, Si-Yi Jin, Ling-Zi Xia. Glycerin Monostearate Aggravates Male Reproductive Toxicity Caused by Di(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate in Rats. Current medical science. 2019 Dec;39(6):1003-1008

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PMID: 31845234

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