Masking effect of anti-androgens on androgenic activity in European river sediment unveiled by effect-directed analysis

J.M. Weiss, T. Hamers, K. Thomas, S.C. van der Linden, P.E.G. Leonards, M.H. Lamoree

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Abstract

This study shows that the androgen receptor agonistic potency is clearly concealed by the effects of androgen receptor antagonists in a total sediment extract, demonstrating that toxicity screening of total extracts is not enough to evaluate the full in vitro endocrine disrupting potential of a complex chemical mixture, as encountered in the environment. The anti-androgenic compounds were masking the activity of androgenic compounds in the extract with relatively high anti-androgenic potency, equivalent to 200 nmol flutamide equivalents/g dry weight. A two-step serial liquid chromatography fractionation of the extract successfully separated anti-androgenic compounds from androgenic compounds, resulting in a total androgenic potency of 3,820 pmol dihydrotestosterone equivalents/g dry weight. The fractionation simplified the chemical identification analysis of the original complex sample matrix. Seventeen chemical structures were tentatively identified. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons, a technical mixture of nonylphenol and dibutyl phthalate were identified to contribute to the anti-androgenic potency observed in the river sediment sample. With the GC/MS screening method applied here, no compounds with AR agonistic disrupting potencies could be identified. Seventy-one unidentified peaks, which represent potentially new endocrine disrupters, have been added to a database for future investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1397
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Volume394
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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