Evaluation of soot particles of biomass fuels with endocrine-modulating activity in yeast-based bioassay

Jingxian Wang, Ping Xie, Antonius Kettrup, Karl Werner Schramm

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6 Scopus citations


Exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP) from the combustion of biomass fuels is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. In the work discussed in this paper we evaluated the endocrine activity of soot particles from biomass fuels by using yeast bioassay. These pollutants could have β-galactosidase activity with a relative potency (RP) about 10 -7-10-9 that of estradiol. Soot particles from wood and straw combustion only partially induced β-galactosidase activity whereas others produced fully inductive activity in the yeast assay system. These pollutants did not have estrogen antagonist and progesterone agonist activity within the defined concentration range. However, these pollutants require 2-4 orders of magnitude higher IC50 to inhibit the activity of progesterone in a similar dose-response manner to mifepristone. We therefore propose that the endocrine activity of some environmental pollutants may be because of inhibition of the progesterone receptor (hPR). GC-MS results showed that substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds, substituted phenolic compounds and derivatives, aromatic carbonyl compounds, and phytosteroids in these soot particles may be mimicking endogenous hormones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1609-1618
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass fuel
  • Endocrine modulating disrupter
  • Reproductive health
  • Soot
  • Yeast bioassay


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