Placental transport of parabens studied using an ex-vivo human perfusion model

Tidsskriftartikel - 2021


Introduction Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in daily consumer products such as cosmetics, food items, pharmaceuticals and household commodities. They have been broadly detected in human samples indicating a general human exposure, and concerns arose from their potential endocrine disrupting effect. Especially the exposure to parabens during pregnancy is concerning, as the time of fetal development is a particularly vulnerable period. The aim of this study was to investigate the transport and metabolism of four commonly used parabens: methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben (MeP, EtP, PrP and BuP) and the metabolite para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) across the human placenta. Methods An ex-vivo human placental perfusion model was used. The test compounds were added in the maternal compartment (with initial concentrations of 1 mM or 0.1 mM). Placental transport was evaluated by fetal-maternal concentration ratios (FM-ratio), transport index (TI) and indicative permeability (IP). Results Information about parabens kinetics was taken from 10 perfusions and PHBA from 7 perfusions. Paraben metabolism was not detected. The placental transport of MeP, EtP, PrP, BuP and PHBA revealed a transfer from maternal to fetal circulations with FM120 of 0.86±0.27 (MeP), 0.98±0.28 (EtP), 1.00±0.28 (PrP), 1.12±0.59 (BuP) and 0.82±0.37 (PHBA). The test substances accumulated in the perfused tissue in some degree. The average kinetic parameters FM-ratio, TI and IP were not different between chemicals. Discussion The present study shows that the placenta barrier is permeable to all four parabens and the metabolite, which implies potential fetal exposure.


Andersen MHG, Zuri G, Knudsen LE, Mathiesen L. Placental transport of parabens studied using an ex-vivo human perfusion model. Placenta 2021;115:121-128.
doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2021.09.010

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