Mixture Effects of 3 Mechanistically Different Steroidogenic Disruptors (Prochloraz, Genistein, and Ketoconazole) in the H295R Cell Assay

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  • Frederik Knud Nielsen
  • Cecilie Hurup Hansen
  • Jennifer Anna Fey
  • Martin Hansen
  • Bent Halling-Sørensen
  • Erland Björklund
  • Styrishave, Bjarne

Mixture effects of 3 model endocrine disruptors, prochloraz, ketoconazole, and genistein, on steroidogenesis were tested in the adrenocortical H295R cell line. Seven key steroid hormones (pregnenolone, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, testosterone, estrone, and 17β-estradiol) were analyzed using gas chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) to investigate the effects throughout the steroidogenic pathway. Current modeling approaches often rely on models assuming compounds acting independently and that the individual effects in some way can be summarized to predict a mixture effect. In H295R cells with an intact steroidogenic pathway, such assumptions may not be feasible. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate whether effects of a mixture with differing modes of action followed or deviated from additivity (concentration addition) and whether the H295R cell line was suitable for evaluating mixture toxicity of endocrine disruptors with different modes of action. The compounds were chosen because they interfere with steroidogenesis in different ways. They all individually decrease the concentrations of the main sex steroids downstream but exert different effects upstream in the steroidogenic pathway. Throughout the study, we observed lowest observed effect concentrations of mixtures at levels 2 to 10 times higher than the predicted EC(50), strongly indicating antagonistic effects. The results demonstrate that chemical analysis combined with the H295R cell assay is a useful tool also for studying how mixtures of endocrine disruptors with differing modes of action interfere with the steroidogenic pathway and that existing models like concentration addition are insufficient in such cases. Furthermore, for end points where compounds exert opposite effects, no relevant models are available.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Toxicology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)534-42
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

ID: 161623057