Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer in many consumer products. Although DEHP is a known endocrine disruptor, little is known about the effects of DEHP exposure on female reproduction. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects follicle numbers, estrous cyclicity, and hormone levels in multiple generations of mice. Pregnant CD-1 mice were orally dosedwithcornoil (vehicle control) orDEHP(20 and 200mg/kg/d and 500 and 750mg/kg/d) fromgestational day 11 until birth. The F1 females were mated with untreated males to create the F2 generation, and the F2 females were mated with untreated males to create the F3 generation. At 1 year, ovaries, hormones, and estrous cycles were analyzed in each generation. Prenatal DEHP exposure altered estrous cyclicity (750mg/kg/d), increased the presence of ovarian cysts (750mg/kg/d), and decreased total follicle numbers (750 mg/kg/d) in the F1 generation. It also decreased anogenital distance (200mg/kg/d) and altered follicle numbers (200mg/kg/d and 500 mg/kg/d) in the F2 generation, and it altered estrous cyclicity (20 and 200 mg/kg/d and 500 and 750 mg/kg/d) and decreased folliculogenesis (200 mg/kg/d and 500 mg/kg/d) in the F3 generation. Further, prenatal DEHP increased estradiol levels (F1 and F3), decreased testosterone levels (F1, F2, and F3), decreased progesterone levels (F2), altered gonadotropin hormone levels (F1 and F3), and decreased inhibin B levels (F1 and F3). Collectively, these data show that prenatal exposure to DEHP has multigenerational and transgenerational effects on female reproduction and it may accelerate reproductive aging.
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