Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (2021-01-01)

The fungicide Mancozeb reduces spheroid attachment onto endometrial epithelial cells through downregulation of estrogen receptor β and integrin β3 in Ishikawa cells

  • Ziyi Wang,
  • Kottawattage S.A. Kottawatta,
  • Suranga P. Kodithuwakku,
  • Thevarathanthrige S. Fernando,
  • Yin-Lau Lee,
  • Ernest H.Y. Ng,
  • William S.B. Yeung,
  • Kai-Fai Lee

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 208
p. 111606


Read online

Mancozeb is a metal-containing ethylene bis-dithiocarbamate fungicide widely used in agriculture. Ethylene thiourea (ETU) is the primary metabolite of Mancozeb. Mancozeb has been associated with spontaneous abortions and abnormal menstruation in women. However, the effects of Mancozeb and ETU on embryo attachment remain unknown. The human blastocyst surrogate trophoblastic spheroids (JEG-3), endometrial epithelial surrogate adenocarcinoma cells (Ishikawa), or human primary endometrial epithelial cells (EECs) monolayer were used in the spheroid attachment models. Ishikawa and EECs were pretreated with different concentrations of Mancozeb or ETU for 48 h before the attachment assay. Gene expression profiles of Ishikawa cells were examined to understand how Mancozeb modulates endometrial receptivity with Microarray. The genes altered by Mancozeb were confirmed by qPCR and compared with the ETU treated groups. Mancozeb and ETU treatment inhibited cell viability at 10 μg/mL and 5000 µg/mL, respectively. At non-cytotoxic concentrations, Mancozeb at 3 μg/mL and ETU at 300 μg/mL reduced JEG-3 spheroid attachment onto Ishikawa cells. A similar result was observed with human primary endometrial epithelial cells. Mancozeb at 3 μg/mL modified the transcription of 158 genes by at least 1.5-fold in Microarray analysis. The expression of 10 differentially expressed genes were confirmed by qPCR. Furthermore, Mancozeb decreased spheroid attachment possibly through downregulating the expression of endometrial estrogen receptor β and integrin β3, but not mucin 1. These results were confirmed in both overexpression and knockdown experiments and co-culture assay. Mancozeb but not its metabolite ETU reduced spheroid attachment through modulating gene expression profile and decreasing estrogen receptor β and integrin β3 expression of endometrial epithelial cells.