Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background and Aim: Phthalate esters used in the manufacture of cosmetics, lubricants, medical devices and wood furnishings enter the human system through various routes and accumulate into tissues to a considerable level. Low levels of plasticizer cause infertility, hypospadias and premature puberty, while high doses of esters can damage the liver and lung. Reports on the ocular effects of these compounds are either not available or very scarce. The present study assessed the impact of dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl-phthalate (DEP) and diethyl hexyl-phthalate (DEHP) on bovine retinal aldolase. Materials and Methods: Retinal aldolase activity of 0.1 ml of 1:10 solution of dialyzed retinal homogenate was assayed at 540 nm. The aldolase activity of the retinal homogenate after incubation in the above-mentioned tubes of DMP, DEP and DEHP was similarly assayed. Results: In the present study, the aldolase activity of the retina was significantly inhibited by phthalate esters and was directly proportional to the molecular size of esters. When comparing the sum of the mean values of the tested esters, the inhibition of aldolase activity increased in the following order - DEHP < DMP < DEP. Conclusion: Based on our results, we suggest that exposure to phthalate esters should be avoided in order to reduce the risk of ocular damage.


DMP, DEP, DEHP, phthalate ester, retina

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