Comparative estrogenic activity of wine extracts and organochlorine pesticide residues in food

K. Gaido, L. Dohme, F. Wang, I. Chen, B. Blankvoort, K. Ramamoorthy, S. Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The human diet contains industrial-derived, endocrine-active chemicals and higher levels of naturally occurring compounds that modulate multiple endocrine pathways. Hazard and risk assessment of these mixtures is complicated by nonadditive interactions between different endocrine-mediated responses. This study focused on estrogenic chemicals in the diet and compared the relative potencies or estrogen equivalents (EQs) of the daily consumption of xenoestrogenic organochlorine pesticides in food (2.44 μg/day) with the EQs in a single 200-ml glass of red cabernet wine. The reconstituted organochlorine mixture contained 1,1,1-trichloro-2-(p-chlorophenyl)-2-(o-chlorophenyl)ethane, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)ethylene, endosulfan-1, endosulfan-2, p,p'-methoxychlor, and toxaphene; the relative proportion of each chemical in the mixture resembled the composition reported in a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration market basket survey. The following battery of in vitro 17β-estradiol (E2)-responsive bioassays were utilized in this study: competitive binding to mouse uterine estrogen receptor (ER); proliferation in T47D human breast cancer cells, luciferase (Luc) induction in human HepG2 cells transiently cotransfected with C3-Luc and the human ER, rat ER-α, or rat ER-β; induction of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells transfected with E2-responsive cathepsin D-CAT or creatine kinase B-CAT plasmids. For these seven in vitro assays, the calculated EQs in extracts from 200 ml of red cabernet wine varied from 0.15 to 3.68 μg/day. In contrast, EQs for consumption of organochlorine pesticides (2.44 μg/day) varied from nondetectable to 1.24 ng/day. Based on results of the in vitro bioassays, organochlorine pesticides in food contribute minimally to dietary EQ intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1351
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Bioassays
  • Estrogenic activity
  • Organochlorine pesticide mixtures
  • Wine extracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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