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Evaluation of estrogenicity of major heavy metals *

Abstract We have employed an estrogen receptor dependent transcriptional expression assay and E-Screen assay systems to evaluate the estrogenicity of various heavy metals and their species. Using the former, the following estrogenicity ranking was measured: bis(tri-n-butyltin)>cadmium chloride>antimony chloride>barium CHLORIDE=chromium chloride>lithium hydroxide>sodium SELENATE=lead acetate>stannous chloride. Using the latter, the following estrogenicity ranking was measured: bis(tri-n-butyltin)>cadmium chloride>antimony chloride>lithium hydroxide>barium chloride>sodium selenate>chromium chloride. Especially, bis(tri-n-butyltin), cadmium chloride, antimony chloride, lithium hydroxide, barium chloride, and chromium chloride showed estrogenicity in both assay systems. Recent studies suggesting that bis(tri-n-butyltin), cadmium chloride, and lithium hydroxide have estrogenicities are compatible with the present findings. Furthermore, our studies are the first to suggest that antimony, barium, chromium may be estrogenic. A range of estrogenicity was observed for different species of the same heavy metal. The results demonstrate that an estrogen receptor dependent transcriptional expression assay and the E-Screen assay systems could serve as a useful method to assess the estrogenicity of heavy metals.

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Published on 05-05-2008