Di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP), an endocrine-disrupting chemical, is found in numerous consumer products and human exposure to this phthalate is becoming inevitable. The impact of DiNP exposure on the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy remains largely unknown. Thus, we conducted studies in which pregnant mice were exposed to an environmentally relevant dose (20 µg/kg BW/day) of DiNP on days 1–7 of gestation, then analyzed the effects of this exposure on pregnancy outcome. Our studies revealed that exposure to DiNP during this window led to fetal loss towards the end of gestation. Further studies showed that, although embryos were able to attach to the uterus, implantation sites in DiNP-exposed uteri exhibited impaired differentiation of stromal cells to decidual cells and an underdeveloped angiogenic network in the decidual bed. We also found that exposure to this phthalate has a significant effect on trophoblast differentiation and causes disorganization of the placental layers. The labyrinth was significantly reduced, resulting in compromised expression of nutrient transporters in the placentas of mice exposed to DiNP. These placental defects in DiNP-exposed females were the cause of fetal loss during the later stages of gestation.
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