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Toxicology. 2012 Oct 9;300(1-2):31-45. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.05.023. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Developmental triclosan exposure decreases maternal, fetal, and early neonatal thyroxine: a dynamic and kinetic evaluation of a putative mode-of-action.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Curriculum in Toxicology, CB 7270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


This work tests the mode-of-action (MOA) hypothesis that maternal and developmental triclosan (TCS) exposure decreases circulating thyroxine (T4) concentrations via up-regulation of hepatic catabolism and elimination of T4. Time-pregnant Long-Evans rats received TCS po (0-300mg/kg/day) from gestational day (GD) 6 through postnatal day (PND) 21. Serum and liver were collected from dams (GD20, PND22) and offspring (GD20, PND4, PND14, PND21). Serum T4, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay. Ethoxy-O-deethylase (EROD), pentoxyresorufin-O-depentylase (PROD) and uridine diphosphate glucuronyltransferase (UGT) enzyme activities were measured in liver microsomes. Custom Taqman(®) qPCR arrays were employed to measure hepatic mRNA expression of select cytochrome P450s, UGTs, sulfotransferases, transporters, and thyroid hormone-responsive genes. TCS was quantified by LC/MS/MS in serum and liver. Serum T4 decreased approximately 30% in GD20 dams and fetuses, PND4 pups and PND22 dams (300mg/kg/day). Hepatic PROD activity increased 2-3 fold in PND4 pups and PND22 dams, and UGT activity was 1.5 fold higher in PND22 dams only (300mg/kg/day). Minor up-regulation of Cyp2b and Cyp3a expression in dams was consistent with hypothesized activation of the constitutive androstane and/or pregnane X receptor. T4 reductions of 30% for dams and GD20 and PND4 offspring with concomitant increases in PROD (PND4 neonates and PND22 dams) and UGT activity (PND22 dams) suggest that up-regulated hepatic catabolism may contribute to TCS-induced hypothyroxinemia during development. Serum and liver TCS concentrations demonstrated greater fetal than postnatal internal exposure, consistent with the lack of T4 changes in PND14 and PND21 offspring. These data support the MOA hypothesis that TCS exposure leads to hypothyroxinemia via increased hepatic catabolism; however, the minor effects on thyroid hormone metabolism may reflect the low efficacy of TCS as thyroid hormone disruptor or highlight the possibility that other MOAs may also contribute to the observed maternal and early neonatal hypothyroxinemia.

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