Phthalates are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are found in many consumer products. Our laboratory previously developed a relevant phthalate mixture consisting of six phthalates and found that it disrupted female fertility in mice. However, it is unknown if prenatal exposure to phthalate mixtures can accelerate reproductive aging and if this occurs in multiple generations. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to a mixture of phthalates accelerates biomarkers of reproductive aging in multiple generations of female mice. Pregnant CD-1 mice were orally dosed with vehicle control or a phthalate mixture (20 μg/kg/day-500 mg/kg/day) daily from gestational day 10 to birth. Adult F1 females born to these dams were used to create the F2 and F3 generations by mating them with unexposed males. At 13 months, estrous cyclicity was monitored and ovaries and sera were collected for analysis. In the F1 generation, the mixture decreased testosterone and inhibin B levels, but increased follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels compared to control. In the F2 generation, the phthalate mixture decreased the percent of antral follicles and testosterone hormone levels compared to control. In the F3 generation, prenatal exposure to the phthalate mixture increased ovarian weight, increased the time in metestrus/diestrus, altered follicle numbers, and decreased the levels of luteinizing hormone compared to control. Collectively, these data suggest that prenatal exposure to a phthalate mixture may accelerate several biomarkers of reproductive aging in a multi- and transgenerational manner in female mice.
- reproductive aging
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