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Toxicology. 2006 Jan 16;217(2-3):184-93. Epub 2005 Oct 17.

Effects of PCB 52 and PCB 77 on cell viability, [Ca(2+)](i) levels and membrane fluidity in mouse thymocytes.

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Firat University, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, 23119 Elazig, Turkey.


Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is known to suppress immune system function and this action is usually ascribed to dioxin-like PCBs that act via the Ah receptor. We have studied the effects of one ortho-substituted, non-dioxin-like PCB (PCB 52) and one coplanar, dioxin-like congener (PCB 77) on properties of thymocytes acutely isolated from mice. Viability of thymocytes was dose- and time-dependently reduced by PCB 52 with a threshold concentration of about 1 microM, while there was no effect of PCB 77 on viability at concentrations less than 10 microM. Cell death was detectible within 5 min of exposure. Both congeners caused a dose-dependent increase in [Ca(2+)](i), but the threshold concentration was 1 microM for PCB 52 and 5 microM for PCB 77. However, the cell death was not due to the elevation of [Ca(2+)](i), since it was not reduced by incubation in Ca-free Tyrode's Solution. PCB 52, but not PCB 77, caused an increase in membrane fluidity at a concentration of 5 microM. These observations are consistent with previous results that suggest that ortho-substituted PCB congeners dissolve in cell membrane and cause greater disruption of function than do dioxin-like PCB congeners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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