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Endocrine disruptor article withdrawn...
Synergistic Effect of Environmental Estrogens: Report Withdrawn
I write to formally withdraw the report "Synergistic activation of
estrogen receptor with combinations of environmental chemicals" (7
June 1996, p. 1489) (1), for which I was corresponding author.
We have conducted experiments duplicating the conditions of our
earlier work, but have not been able to replicate our initial
Also, since our publication in Science (1), others have been unable
to reproduce the results we reported (2). Meanwhile, people in many
walks of life have, on their own, put great weight on this report
as the basis for much discussion, thought, and even public policy.
Whatever merit this publication contained, and despite the
enthusiasm it generated, it is clear that any conclusions drawn
from this paper must be suspended until such time, if ever, the
data can be substantiated.
In our laboratory, for the last 6 months, we have conducted
experiments to elucidate the mechanisms to explain the phenomenon
of synergy between estrogenic chemicals. These studies have been
directed toward understanding the roles that estrogen receptor
levels (3), the difference between monomer and dimer conditions of
the estrogen receptor (4), and chemical transport across the cell
membrane (5) play in the action of weak estrogens. None have
provided a satisfactory mechanism to explain our earlier findings.
Taken together, it seems evident that there must have been a
fundamental flaw in the design of our original experiment. As a
consequence of our efforts and those of others, and considering the
impact our report has had in so many quarters, we have decided to
formally withdraw the paper and its finding. We take this step in
recognition of the reliance so many have placed on our work.
Our laboratory will continue to aggressively conduct research on
environmental endocrinology. We believe there are important and
verifiable discoveries to be made.
The co-authors have concurred in writing with this decision.
John A. McLachlan
Tulane-Xavier Center for
Tulane University,1430 Tulane Avenue,
New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
1.S. F. Arnold, D. M. Klotz, B. M. Collins, P. M. Vonier,
L. J. Guillette Jr., J. A. McLachlan, Science 272 1489 (1996). 2.K.
Ramamoorthy, et al., ibid. 275, 405 (1997). 3.D. Q. Tran et al.,
Steroids, in press. 4.S. F. Arnold et al., in preparation;
P. M. Vonier, J. A. McLachlan, in preparation. 5.S. F. Arnold et
al., in preparation; D. Q. Tran , et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res.
Comm. 235, 669 (1997) .
Volume 277, Number 5325, Issue of 25 July 1997, pp. 459-463.
©1997 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.