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Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;154(2):129-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

The effects of Dechlorane Plus on toxicity and mRNA expression in chicken embryos: a comparison of in vitro and in ovo approaches.

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Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Dechlorane Plus (DP) is an additive chlorinated flame retardant comprising two major isomers, syn- and anti-DP, that is used in a variety of commercial/industrial products. It has been detected in biotic and abiotic matrices including the eggs of herring gulls collected from the Laurentian Great Lakes. However, data on potential toxicological and molecular responses to exposure are lacking, especially for avian species. A combined in vitro/in ovo approach was used to determine concentration-dependent effects of DP in chicken embryonic hepatocytes (CEH) and chicken embryos following injection of DP into the air cell of eggs prior to incubation. Overt toxicity (i.e. cytotoxicity and pipping success) and mRNA expression levels of transcripts previously determined to be responsive to a brominated flame retardant were assessed in CEH and hepatic tissue. DP was not cytotoxic up to a maximum concentration of 3 μM in CEH, and no effects on pipping success were observed up to the highest nominal dose group of 500 ng/g egg. A significant shift in isomeric content of syn- and anti-DP was detected between stock solutions of the commercial mixture and hepatic tissue; the proportion of the syn-DP isomer increased from 0.34 to 0.65 with a concomitant decrease of anti-DP from 0.66 to 0.35. None of the mRNA transcripts changed as a result of in vitro or in ovo exposure to DP indicating that, although there was concordance between the two approaches, DP may evoke its toxicity through other modes of action. At current environmental exposure levels, no adverse effects of DP on embryonic viability or pathways associated with the genes assessed are predicted.

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