Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2017
4-tert-octylphenol (OP) is an alkylphenolic compound formed as metabolite of some nonionic surfactants that are widely used in industrial detergents, as plastic additives, dispersant for insecticides, etc. (Naylor et al., 1992). OP accumulates in adipose tissue. Micromolar concentrations of these compounds may constitute health hazards to animal cells. Furthermore, it has previously been shown to exert oestrogenic activity in vivo and in vitro (White et al., 1994). A growing concern about “endocrine disruptors” and their impact on oestrogen-dependent phenomena led us investigate the effects of OP on oocyte maturation. For variuos reasons bovine oocytes were chosen as the model system. We examined the effects of OP exposure on oocyte nuclear maturation in vitro and on the expression of oestrogen receptors in cumulus cells.