Investigation of the estrogenic activities of pesticides from Pal-dang reservoir by in vitro assay

Young Jin Oh, Yeon Jung Jung, Joon Wun Kang, Young Sook Yoo

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Endocrine disruptors, when absorbed into the body, interfere with the normal function by mimicking or blocking the hormone system. To investigate compounds mimicking estrogen in the drinking water source of the residence of Seoul, the Pal-dang reservoir was monitored over a period of 5 years, between 2000 and 2004. Nine kinds of pesticide (carbaryl, DBCP, diazinon, fenitrothion, fenobucarb, flutolanil, iprobenphos, isoprothiolane and parathion) were found to exist in the river water sample. These compounds were detected at low concentrations in the water samples. The total concentration and those of each of these pesticides were below the permissible limits of the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), Korea. The estrogenic potencies of the nine pesticides were examined using an E-screen assay with MCF-7 BUS estrogen receptor (ER)-positive human breast cancer cells, with ER-negative MDA MB 231 cell lines also used to compare the results. From this, flutolanil and isoprothiolane were confirmed to have estrogenic activities as shown by the increasing MCF-7 BUS cell growth on their addition. In addition, the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) protein, estrogen receptor-regulated progesterone receptor (PR) and pS2 mRNA levels on the addition of flutolanil and isoprothiolane were measured with MCF-7 BUS cells. It was observed that the levels of ERα protein decreased and those of the PR and pS2 genes increased on the addition of either flutolanil or isoprothiolane at concentrations of 10- 4 M, in the same manner as with the addition of 17β-estradiol, which was used as the positive control. From these results, it was confirmed that flutolanil and isoprothiolane exhibit estrogenic activities, suggesting they might act through estrogen receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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