Document Detail

In utero exposure to phthalates and fetal development.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17017909     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The diesters of benzene-1,2-dicarboxylic (phthalic) acid, commonly known as phthalates, are a family of industrial compounds, primarily used as plasticizers in enormous quantities for a variety of industrial uses in the formulation of plastics. Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is the most commonly used plasticizer. These plasticizers are not covalently bound to the polymer and leach out into the environment, thus becoming ubiquitous environmental contaminants. Cumulating evidence points out on the adverse effects of phthalate exposure during intrauterine life. Recently, it has been documented that in utero phthalate exposure is associated with a shorter duration of pregnancy. Phthalates induce and activate a subset of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and have an intrinsic pro-inflammatory activity, while some natural PPAR agonists induce cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression. To this regard, COX-2 is thought to be overexpressed in chorioamnionitis (CA), a fetal systemic inflammatory response syndrome and a leading cause of preterm birth. An adequate maternal dietary intake of essential fatty acids, well known anti-inflammatory agents, is indispensable to fetal development. Recently, it has been shown that phthalates alter the placental essential fatty acids (EFAs) homeostasis so potentially leading to abnormal fetal development. Likewise, a possible down-regulation of COX-2 by omega-3 fatty acids has been suggested. As a consequence, maternal supplementation with omega 3 during pregnancy could counteract the adverse effects of phthalates exposure in the human fetus. Here, we analyze the existing evidence on the link between antenatal phthalate exposure and abnormal fetal development, as well as on possible therapeutic tools to fight the adverse effect of this exposure.
Giuseppe Latini; Antonio Del Vecchio; Marika Massaro; Alberto Verrotti; Claudio DE Felice
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current medicinal chemistry     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0929-8673     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Med. Chem.     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-10-04     Completed Date:  2006-12-01     Revised Date:  2007-02-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9440157     Medline TA:  Curr Med Chem     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2527-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Neonatology, Ospedale A. Perrino, s.s. 7 per Mesagne, 72100 Brindisi, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Fetal Development / drug effects*
Maternal-Fetal Exchange
Molecular Structure
Phthalic Acids / administration & dosage*,  chemistry,  toxicity*
Uterus / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Phthalic Acids

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