Morphological Alterations in Human Skeletal Muscle Cells Exposed to di-(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate (dehp) in Primary Cell Culture Conditions

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Pablo Hernández-Almaraz; Orlando Lugo-Lugo; Ramón Gaxiola-Robles; Oscar K. Bitzer-Quintero; Luis J. Ramírez-Jirano; Elizabeth Brassea-Pérez & Tania Zenteno-Savín


Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is among the most common plasticizer additives that humans are in contact with daily. DEHP can be released from plastic and enter the human body, whereby it is metabolized and transformed into oxidative hydrophilic molecules. Clinical follow-ups in patients exposed to this phthalate and investigations in cultures of several cell types have provided information on its effects. For example, it is associated with inhibition of diploid human cell development and morphological changes in cultured germ cells. Although skeletal muscle represents around 50 % of the human body mass, knowledge about the effects of DEHP on this tissue is poor. Cultured skeletal muscle cells were exposed to DEHP (1 mM) for 13 days with the aim of exploring and evaluating some of the potential morphological effects. Three culture development parameters and nine cell characteristics were monitored during the bioassay. At 13 days, growth area, cell viability, and concentration of total proteins were lower in DEHP exposed than in control cells. Cell width and area, as well as the diameter of the nucleus and nucleolus, were greater in exposed cells than in control cells. These are interpreted as signs of cytotoxicity and suggest potential adverse effects on the development of skeletal muscle cells from DEHP exposure, as reported for other cell types.

KEY WORDS: Emerging pollutants; Morphometry; Phthalates; Plasticizers; Toxicity.

How to cite this article

HERNÁNDEZ-ALMARAZ, P.; LUGO-LUGO, O.; GAXIOLA-ROBLES, R.; BITZER-QUINTERO, O. K.; RAMÍREZ-JIRANO, L. J.; BRASSEA-PÉREZ, E. & ZENTENO-SAVÍN, T. Morphological alterations in human skeletal muscle cells exposed to di-(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate (dehp) in primary cell culture conditions. Int. J. Morphol., 40(5):1209-1218, 2022.