The objective was to investigate endocrine-disrupting effects of polar compounds from oxidized frying oil. Estrogenicity of polar compounds was tested with a rat uterotrophic bioassay. Dietary oxidized frying oil (containing 51% polar compounds) or polar compounds isolated from it were incorporated into feed (in lieu of fresh soybean oil) and fed to ovariectomized rats, with or without treatment with exogenous ethynyl estradiol. Exogenous estrogen restored uterine weight, and caused histological abnormalities (stratified epithelia and conglomerate glands) as well as proliferation of uterine epithelial cells. However, tamoxifen or polar compounds reduced these effects. Furthermore, tamoxifen or polar compounds down-regulated uterine mRNA expression of estrogen receptor (ER)-target genes, implicating reduced ER activity in this hypo-uterotrophic effect. Inhibition of ER signaling and mitosis by polar compounds were attributed to reduced MAPK and AKT activation, as well as a reduced ligand binding domain-transactivity of ERα/β. We concluded polar compounds from frying oil are potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals, with implications for food and environmental safety.
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