Environmental Xenoestrogens Super-Activate a Variant Murine ER Beta in Cholangiocytes

Stephanie K. Meyer, Philip M. E. Probert, Anne K. Lakey, Alastair C. Leitch, Lynsay I. Blake, Paul A. Jowsey, Martin P. Cooke, Peter G. Blain, Matthew C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


High systemic levels of oestrogens are cholestatic and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)—which is characterized by hepatic ductular inflammation—is thought to be triggered by exposure to xenobiotics such as those around landfill sites. Xenoestrogens may be a component of this chemical trigger. We therefore hypothesized that xenoestrogens are present at higher levels in the proximity of landfill sites. To test this hypothesis, soil samples were collected, extracts prepared and biological oestrogenic activity examined using cell-based reporter gene assays. Extracts from several sample sites around a landfill site contained a chemical(s) which activated the human ERα in a dose-dependent manner. Extracts from 3 separate control sampling sites were absent of any detectable activity. The mouse ERα and 2 variant mouse ERβ cDNAs were cloned and extracts from sample sites around a landfill site also activated these receptors. One variant murine ERβ was constitutively active when expressed in cholangiocytes, was readily inactivated by ICI182780 and activated in a dose-responsive, ICI182780-inhibitable manner by oestrogen. However, when this receptor was activated by extracts from landfill site soils, ICI182780 failed to antagonize activation. ERβ was readily detectable in murine cholangiocytes and exposing mice acutely to a pooled ER activating soil extracts also gave rise to a mild cholestatic injury. These data indicate that the environment around landfill sites may contain higher levels of xenoestrogens; that these chemicals have “super-activating” characteristics with a variant ERβ and therefore these chemicals could be a component of a xenobiotic insult that triggers PBC.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberkfw234
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date24 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental Xenoestrogens Super-Activate a Variant Murine ER Beta in Cholangiocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this