Volume 29 (2004) Issue 2 Pages 113-124
- Subcellular distribution of di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) in the testis was studied by single oral administration of [3,4,5,6-3H]-phthalic acid di-(2-ethylhexyl) ester (DEHP-3H) or phthalic acid di-(2-ethyl[1-3H]hexyl) ester (3H-DEHP) to 8-week-old male rats. Autoradiographs and electron microscopic autoradiographs were prepared from the testis, liver and kidney at 6 and 24 hr after administration and distribution of radioactive materials in the tissues were observed. In the autoradiographic specimen at 6 hr after administration of DEHP 3H-labeled at phthalic acid moiety (DEHP-3H), many grains were observed in the testis, mainly at the basal area of seminiferous tubules at the stages IX to I of the spermatogenic cycle. Electron microscopic autoradiographs taken at the same time revealed that localization of grains were in the smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria of Sertoli cells. A few grains were also present at the Golgi apparatus and lysosome of Sertoli cells, and at the interfaces between the Sertoli cells or between Sertoli cells and spermatocytes, and in the cytoplasm of spermatocytes. Autoradiographs of the liver revealed grains in the centrilobular hepatocytes, localized at mitochondria, rough-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes. In the kidney, the radioactivity was localized at the brush border of the tubular cells in the pars recta of proximal tubules. In the 24-hr specimen, the grain density in the seminiferous tubules obviously decreased. On the other hand, by autoradiography with DEHP 3H-labeled at the alcohol (3H-DEHP), only a few grains were observed in autoradiographs of the testes at 6 hr after administration. No grains were noted in autoradiographs of the liver and kidney with 3H-DEHP. The results showed that the phthalic acid ester was splitted rapidly in the body and only the phthalic acid moiety distributed into the cells.