Xenoestrogenic activity in blood of European and Inuit populations

Eva C. Bonefeld-Jorgensen, Philip S. Hjelmborg, Thayaline S. Reinert, Birgitte S. Andersen, Vladimir Lesovoy, Christian H. Lindh, Lars Hagmar, Aleksander Giwercman, Mogens Erlandsen, Gian-Carlo Manicardi, Marcello Spanò, Gunnar Toft, Jens Peter Bonde

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Background: Human exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is ubiquitous and found in all individuals. Studies have documented endocrine disrupting effects and impact on reproduction. The aim of the present study was to compare the level of xenoestrogenic activity in serum of groups with varying POP exposure, and to evaluate correlations to the POP biomarkers, 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p′-DDE). Methods: The study included 358 men: Greenlandic Inuit's, Swedish fishermen, and Warsaw (Poland) and Kharkiv (Ukraine) inhabitants. Xenoestrogenicity of serum extracts alone (XER) and XER competitive (XERcomp) effect on 17β-estradiol induced estrogen receptor (ER) transactivity were assessed in the hormone free, lipophilic serum fraction containing the POPs using the MVLN human breast cancer cell line. Results: No agonistic XER activity was exhibited for Inuit serum samples, while 12 - 24% of the European samples had detectable agonistic XER activity. On the contrary, 71% of Inuit serum samples antagonized XERcomp compared to 7 - 30 % in the other regions. XER and XERcomp were not or weakly correlated to the two POP markers. XER activity of Inuit samples was negatively associated to levels of CB-153 and p,p′-DDE. For the Warsaw group a positive and negative correlation between XER and p,p′-DDE and estradiol equivalence level and CB-153 levels was found. Conclusion: No strong consistent association between xenoestrogenic net activity and the two POP markers was found. The results showed that the selected POP markers alone can not predict the integrated xenoestrogenic serum activity. Correlations to the POP markers were found at the extreme edge; the Inuit's and Warsaw study groups eliciting high frequency of samples with ER antagonistic and agonistic activity, respectively. We suggest that the variation in xenoestrogenic serum activity reflects differences in POP exposure mixture, genetic factors and/or life style factors. © 2006 Bonefeld-Jorgensen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Pages (from-to)-
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Bonefeld-Jorgensen, E. C., Hjelmborg, P. S., Reinert, T. S., Andersen, B. S., Lesovoy, V., Lindh, C. H., ... Bonde, J. P. (2006). Xenoestrogenic activity in blood of European and Inuit populations. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 5, -. [12]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-5-12