Methods for xenoestrogen testing

S. Safe, K. Connor, K. Gaido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Research in our laboratories has focused on development of a battery of in vivo and in vitro bioassays for determining estrogenic activity and potency of different classes of natural and synthetic industrial-derived estrogenic compounds (xenoestrogens) including food/beverage extracts, phytoestrogens, phenolic compounds, organochlorine pesticides and pollutants. For many of the weak estrogenic compounds, their activity as estrogen receptor (ER) agonists or antagonists is dependent on the gene/gene promoter, cell context and expression of ER(α) or ER(β) isoform. For example, extracts of red wine, bound to the ER, exhibited estrogenic activity in T47D, MCF-7 (breast) and Hep G2 (liver) human cancer cell lines, whereas reconstituted organochlorine pesticide residues found in food were active only in Hep G2 cells that transiently expressed ER(α) or ER(β). The relative potencies of red wine extracts versus reconstituted organochlorine pesticides were assay-dependent; however, estrogen equivalent daily intakes from a glass of red wine (~0.5-2 μg estrogen equivalents/day) were at least 103 higher than observed for the reconstituted organochlorine pesticide mixtures. Risk assessment of xenoestrogens and other synthetic chemicals which modulate endocrine responses must take into account high dietary levels of natural products in food, drugs and health food store extracts which also modulate endocrine responses. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-670
Number of pages6
JournalToxicology Letters
StatePublished - Dec 28 1998


  • Bisphenol A
  • Endocrine system
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Nonylphenol
  • Wine extract
  • Xenoestrogen testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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