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Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Sep;124(9):1406-13. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1510314. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Effects of Acute Low-Dose Exposure to the Chlorinated Flame Retardant Dechlorane 602 and Th1 and Th2 Immune Responses in Adult Male Mice.

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Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.



Although the chlorinated flame retardant Dechlorane (Dec) 602 has been detected in food, human blood, and breast milk, there is limited information on potential health effects, including possible immunotoxicity.


We determined the immunotoxic potential of Dec 602 in mice by examining the expression of phenotypic markers on thymocyte and splenic lymphocyte subsets, Th1/Th2 transcription factors, and the production of cytokines and antibodies.


Adult male C57BL/6 mice were orally exposed to environmentally relevant doses of Dec 602 (1 and 10 μg/kg body weight per day) for 7 consecutive days. Thymocyte and splenic CD4 and CD8 subsets and splenocyte apoptosis were examined by flow cytometric analysis. Cytokine expression was measured at both the mRNA and the protein levels. Levels of the transcription factors Th1 (T-bet and STAT1) and Th2 (GATA3) were determined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Serum levels of immunoglobulins IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b and IgE were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


Splenic CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets were decreased compared with vehicle controls, and apoptosis was significantly increased in splenic CD4+ T cells. Expression (mRNA and protein) of Th2 cytokines [interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and IL-13] increased, and that of Th1 cytokines [IL-2, interferon (IFN)-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α] decreased. The Th2 transcriptional factor GATA3 increased, whereas the Th1 transcriptional factors T-bet and STAT1 decreased. As additional indicators of the Th2-Th1 imbalance, production of IgG1 was significantly increased, whereas IgG2a was reduced.


To our knowledge, we are the first to report evidence of the effects of Dec 602 on immune function in mice, with findings indicating that Dec 602 exposure favored Th2 responses and reduced Th1 function.


Feng Y, Tian J, Xie HQ, She J, Xu SL, Xu T, Tian W, Fu H, Li S, Tao W, Wang L, Chen Y, Zhang S, Zhang W, Guo TL, Zhao B. 2016. Effects of acute low-dose exposure to the chlorinated flame retardant dechlorane 602 and Th1 and Th2 immune responses in adult male mice. Environ Health Perspect 124:1406-1413;

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