Alkylphenols are endocrine disruptors that show estrogen-like effects in various wildlife species. However, little information is available about the action of these chemicals on bone metabolism. We investigated the effects of alkylphenols, such as nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP), on the formation of bone using several culture systems for osteoclasts and osteoblasts, as well as in vivo experiments. NP and OP dose-dependently inhibited the formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive multinucleated cells (osteoclasts) in cocultures of mouse spleen cells or mouse bone marrow cells with ST2 cells. However, β-estradiol at 10-9M to 10-6M did not affect this process. In contrast, neither compound affected the proliferation and differentiation of rat calvarial osteoblast-like cells (ROB cells). When NP or OP (0.1 mg/kg body weight) was administered subcutaneously to pregnant mice at 10 days, 12 days and 14 days post-coitus, fetuses at 17.5 days post-coitus showed stimulation of sternebrae bone calcification. Our findings suggest that alkylphenols have critical effects on the formation of bone by non-estrogenic effects. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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