In vitro bioassay investigations of suspected obesogen monosodium glutamate at the level of nuclear receptor binding and steroidogenesis

Maeve Shannon, Jodie Wilson, Yuling Xie, Lisa Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a commonly used flavour enhancer in households, catering and food production. Recently it has been highlighted as a suspected dietary obesogen in epidemiological studies indicating a link between MSG consumption and weight gain. Additionally, animal studies have shown that MSG exposure has profound effects on sex steroid hormone levels and receptors; which have an important role in energy metabolism. However, the exact mechanism by which MSG exerts its effects has yet to be elucidated. Reporter gene assays (RGAs) and the H295R steroidogenesis assay have been used to investigate the endocrine disrupting potential of MSG. Receptor (ant)agonism was not observed in the MMV-Luc (oestrogen responsive) or TM-Luc (progestagen responsive) cell lines following exposure to MSG. Also, no effects on hormone production were observed. However, MSG exhibited an antagonist response in the androgen and progestagen responsive TARM-Luc cell line, with a dose dependent reduction in androgen response of 33%, 36.9% and 50.6% (in comparison to the solvent control) at 50, 250 and 500 μg/ml MSG, respectively (P ≤  0.05; P ≤ 0.05; P ≤  0.001). No cytotoxicity or pre-lethal cytotoxicity was observed at the concentrations tested. These findings demonstrate one potential pathway whereby MSG may act as a dietary obesogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalToxicology Letters
Volume301
Early online date28 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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