Triclocarban enhances testosterone action: A new type of endocrine disruptor?

Jiangang Chen, Chang Ahn Ki, Nancy A. Gee, Mohamed I. Ahmed, Antoni J. Duleba, Ling Zhao, Shirley J. Gee, Bruce D. Hammock, Bill L. Lasley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Many xenobiotics have been associated with endocrine effects in a wide range of biological systems. These associations are usually between small nonsteroid molecules and steroid receptor signaling systems. In this report, triclocarban (TCC; 3,4,4′-trichlorocarbanilide), a common ingredient in personal care products that is used as an antimicrobial agent was evaluated and found to represent a new category of endocrine-disrupting substance. A cell-based androgen receptor-mediated bioassay was used to demonstrate that TCC and other urea compounds with a similar structure, which have little or no endocrine activity when tested alone, act to enhance testosterone (T)-induced androgen receptor-mediated transcriptional activity in vitro. This amplification effect of TCC was also apparent in vivo when 0.25% TCC was added to the diet of castrated male rats that were supported by exogenous testosterone treatment for 10 d. All male sex accessory organs increased significantly in size after the T+TCC treatment, compared with T or TCC treatments alone. The data presented here suggest that the bioactivity of endogenous hormones may be amplified by exposure to commercial personal care products containing sufficient levels of TCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1179
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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