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J Endocrinol. 2013 Oct 28;219(3):205-15. doi: 10.1530/JOE-13-0302. Print 2013 Dec.

Early weaning PCB 95 exposure alters the neonatal endocrine system: thyroid adipokine dysfunction.

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Division of Anatomy and Embryology, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, PO 62514, Egypt.


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental pollutants that can severely disrupt the endocrine system. In the present study, early-weaned male rats were administered a single dose of 2,3,6-2',5'-pentachlorinated biphenyl (PCB 95; 32 mg/kg per day, by i.p. injection) for two consecutive days (postnatal days (PNDs) 15 and 16) and killed 24 and 48 h after the administration of the last dose. Compared with the control group, administration of PCB 95 induced a reduction (P<0.01) in serum concentrations of thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and GH and an increase (P<0.01) in the serum concentration of TSH at PNDs 17 and 18. These conspicuous perturbations led to some histopathological deterioration in the thyroid gland characterized by follicular degeneration, edema, fibrosis, hemorrhage, luminal obliteration, and hypertrophy with reduced colloidal contents at PND 18. The dyshormonogenesis and thyroid dysgenesis may be attributed to the elevation of DNA fragmentation at PNDs 17 and 18. Furthermore, this hypothyroid state revealed higher (P<0.01) serum concentrations of leptin, adiponectin, and tumor necrosis factor and lower (P<0.01) serum concentrations of IGF1 and insulin at both PNDs compared with the control group. Interestingly, the body weight of the neonates in the PCB 95 group exhibited severe decreases throughout the experimental period in relation to that of the control group. These results imply that PCB 95 may act as a disruptor of the developmental hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Hypothyroidism caused by PCB 95 may impair the adipokine axis, fat metabolism, and in general postnatal development. Thus, further studies need to be carried out to understand this concept.


PCB 95; adipokines; rat newborns; thyroid

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