2009 Volume 71 Issue 8 Pages 1027-1033
Isobutyl-paraben (IBP), a widely used preservative in a variety of foods, shows high comparative binding affinity to estrogen receptors. Here, we examined the effects of maternal exposure of rats to IBP on plasma hormone concentrations and organ weights in dams, ratio of male pups, anogenital distance, organ weights and plasma hormone concentrations in offspring, puberty, estrous cycle and response of organ weight and plasma hormone concentrations to estrogen in adult female offspring, and reproductive and adrenal function in adult male offspring, all of which are under developmental estrogen regulation, to clarify the estrogenic effects of IBP during gestation and lactation on the endocrine systems of dams and offspring. While maternal exposure of IBP decreased the plasma corticosterone concentration and increased the uterus weight in dams and increased uterine sensitivity to estrogen in adult female offspring, the other indices examined were largely unaffected by the present treatment. Even though these results indicate little sign of endocrine disrupting effects for IBP, the existence of activity may be a matter of concern due to the possible impact on the health of future generations.