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Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS; CAS #577-11-7) a major component of the dispersant COREXIT is an obesogen



Alexis M. Temkin, Robert R. Bowers, Margaret E. Magaletta, Steven Holshouser, Adriana Maggi, Paolo Ciana, Louis J. Guillette Jr., John Bowden, John E. Baatz, Demetri D. Spyropoulos, John Kucklick


Background: Product safety testing typically involves lethal toxicity assessments, which likely miss long- term health impacts. Optimizing long-term product safety is critical for widespread chemical use. The obesity epidemic exemplifies a condition based on metabolism, lifestyle and environmental ‘obesogen' exposure. Obesity is known to worsen multiple major lifelong health concerns. Objectives: We sought to determine if obesogens existed within Deepwater Horizon oil and the dispersant COREXIT. Also, we sought to improve the sensitivity of obesogen detection/validation methods to establish a framework for post-toxicological chemical assessment. Methods: Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma (PPARγ) ligand binding assays were used to identify obesogens. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was used to fractionate DWH oil COREXIT water accommodated fraction (CWAF). Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to identify components in fractionated CWAF. In vivo quantification was performed in PPRE- luciferase transgenic mice, and fat cell differentiation was quantified by triacylglycerol accumulation. Results: Serum-free conditions greatly enhanced sensitivity without reducing specificity in ligand binding assays. CWAF and specifically COREXIT were found to have significant dose-dependent obesogenic activities. From SPE, the 50:50 ethanol:water fraction of CWAF contained obesogen(s) and LC-MS indicated major components of COREXIT were present in this fraction. Molecular modeling predicted several components of COREXIT to be obesogenic. DOSS was found to be a significant obesogen by ligand binding assays, PPAR-driven luciferase induction in vivo and fat cell induction. Conclusions: DOSS, a major component of COREXIT, is an obesogen. Long-term health implications of DOSS exposure through multiple routes are under further investigation.
Environmental Health Perspectives


Obesogen, Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS, CAS #577-11-7), Deepwater Horizon (DWH), COREXIT dispersant water accommodated fraction (CWAF), Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma (PPAR¿), PPAR¿ response element (PPRE), Rosiglitazone (Rosi)


Temkin, A. , Bowers, R. , Magaletta, M. , Holshouser, S. , Maggi, A. , Ciana, P. , Guillette Jr., L. , Bowden, J. , Baatz, J. , Spyropoulos, D. and Kucklick, J. (2016), Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS; CAS #577-11-7) a major component of the dispersant COREXIT is an obesogen, Environmental Health Perspectives, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created January 19, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021