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Analysis of Toxicity in Endometrial Cells Exposed Phthalate
Korean J Clin Lab Sci 2019;51:86-92  
Published on March 31, 2019
Copyright © 2019 Korean Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Jae-Sun Choi

Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Far East University, Eumseong, Korea
Correspondence to: Jae-Sun Choi
Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Far East University, 76-32 Daehak-gil, Gamgok-myeon, Eumseong 27601, Korea, Tel: 82-43-880-3891, Fax: 82-43-880-3876, E-mail:, ORCID:
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is an environmental contaminant that is used as a plasticizer. Endometriosis is a complex disease with an unknown etiology that is believed to be associated with exposure to DEHP. The present study examined the potential toxicity of DEHP by exposing endometrial adenocarcinoma cells (Ishikawa cells) to DEHP. In the experiments, the cells were treated with stepwise DEHP concentrations (0, 0.01, 0.1, 1, and 5 μM) for different exposure times (24, 48, and 72 h). When the relationship between the resulting survival rate of the cells and initial inflammation was examined, the cell viability, expression of TNF-α, an inflammatory mediator, and the expression of MMP-9, an ECM degradation protein, were increased remarkably when the cells were exposed to 5 μM DEHP for 48 and 72 hours. These results suggest that the exposure of Ishikawa cells to certain concentrations of DEHP, estrogen mimics, may cause time-dependent toxicity that affects the cell viability and inflammation, implying a potential role in the etiology of endometriosis. Further research on the effects of endocrine disruptors on the pathogenesis of endometriosis may reveal strategies to prevent this disease.
Keywords : Endocrine disruptor, Endometriosis, Phthalate (2-ethylhexyl phthalate, DEHP), TNF-α, MMP-9

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