Application of cell-based assays for toxicity characterization of complex wastewater matrices: Possible applications in wastewater recycle and reuse.
L02 and HepG2 cells were exposed to mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) at concentrations of 6.25-100μM. After 48h treatment, MEHP decreased HepG2 cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner and L02 cell viability in the 50 and 100μM groups (p<0.01). Furthermore, at 24 and 48h after treatment, MEHP decreased the glutathione levels of HepG2 cells in all treatment groups and in the ΔΨ(m) in L02 and HepG2 cells with MEHP≥25μM (p<0.05 or p<0.01). At 24h after treatment, MEHP induced activation of caspase3 in all treated HepG2 and L02 cells (p<0.05 or p<0.01) except the 100μM MEHP treatment group. The increase in the Bax to Bcl-2 ratio suggests that Bcl-2 family involved in the control of MEHP-induced apoptosis in these two cell types. The data suggest that MEHP could induce apoptosis of HepG2 cells through mitochondria- and caspase3-dependent pathways.