OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to evaluate the biological effects of water eluents from polycarbonate based esthetic orthodontic brackets. METHODS: The composite polycarbonate brackets tested were Silkon Plus (SL, fiber-glass-reinforced), Elan ME (EL, ceramic particle-reinforced) and Elegance (EG, fiber-glass-reinforced). An unfilled polyoxymethylene bracket (Brilliant, BR) was used as control. The brackets' composition was analyzed by ATR-FTIR spectrometry. The cytotoxicity and estrogenicity of the eluents obtained after 3months storage of the brackets in water (37°C) were investigated in murine fibroblasts (NIH 3T3), breast (MCF-7) and cervical cancer (CCl-2/Hela) cell lines. RESULTS: SL and EG were based on aromatic-polycarbonate matrix, whereas EL consisted of an aromatic polycarbonate-polyethylene terepthalate copolymer. A significant induction of cell death and a concurrent decrease in cell proliferation was noted in the EG eluent-treated cells. Moreover, EG eluent significantly reduced the levels of the estrogen signaling associated gene pS2, specifically in MCF7 cells, suggesting that cell death induced by this material is associated with downregulation of estrogen signaling pathways. Even though oxidative stress mechanisms were equally activated by all eluents, the EG eluents induced expression of apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) and reduced Bcl-xL protein levels. SIGNIFICANCE: Some polycarbonate-based composite brackets when exposed to water release substances than activate mitochondrial apoptosis.