Adverse effects of naphthenic acids on reproductive health: A focus on placental trophoblast cells Academic Article uri icon

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  • There is considerable concern that naphthenic acids (NA) related to oil extraction can negatively impact reproduction in mammals yet the mechanisms are unknown. Since placental dysfunction is central to many adverse pregnancy outcomes, the goal of this study was to determine the effects of NA exposure on placental trophoblast cell function. Htr-8/SVneo cells were exposed to a commercial technical NA mixture (Sigma-Aldrich) for 24 h to assess steroid production, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. NA treatment significantly altered steroid production; progesterone was decreased at all doses tested, whereas there was a significant increase in testosterone production (125 mg/L only). There were no effects on estradiol production. In addition, NA treatment resulted in increased markers of inflammation (interleukin 1β and prostaglandin E2) and oxidative damage to lipids and nucleic acids. These findings suggest that it is biologically plausible that NA exposure may contribute to placental dysfunction.


  • Raez-Villanueva, Sergio
  • Jamshed, Laiba
  • Ratnayake, Geemitha
  • Cheng, Lisa
  • Thomas, Philippe J
  • Holloway, Alison

publication date

  • December 2019