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Toxicology. 1994 Jan 26;86(1-2):49-61.

Immunologic and endocrine effects of the flame-retardant pentabromodiphenyl ether (DE-71) in C57BL/6J mice.

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Toxicology Program, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331.


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are manufactured for use as flame retardants in commercial plastics and textiles in Europe and North America. These studies investigated the acute and subchronic immunotoxicity and endocrine effects of a commercial pentabromodiphenyl either mixture, DE-71, in female C57BL/6 mice. Mice were orally exposed to acute single doses of DE-71 of 0, 0.8, 4.0, 20, 100, or 500 mg/kg, or to subchronic daily doses totaling 0, 250, 500, or 1000 mg/kg over a 14 day period. Immunotoxicity was assessed by measuring the plaque-forming cell response to sheep erythrocytes (SRBC) and natural killer cell (NKC) activity (basal and poly I:C stimulated) to YAC-1 target cells. Liver cytochrome P450 content and activities (ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase (EROD) and pentoxyresorufin-o-deethylase (PROD)) as well as corticosterone (CS) and thyroxine (T4) concentrations were also measured. PROD activity was induced 3-5-fold in mice exposed acutely or subchronically to DE-71 at doses > 250 mg/kg. EROD activity and total microsomal cytochrome P450 content were significantly induced only in mice treated subchronically with DE-71; maximum induction of EROD was 3.3-fold. Total serum T4 concentrations were significantly lower in mice treated acutely with DE-71 at all doses except the 100 mg/kg dose. Total and free T4 concentrations were dose-dependently decreased in DE-71-treated mice following subchronic exposure. Plasma CS levels were elevated following subchronic exposure to DE-71. The elevation of CS was correlated with order of capture at necropsy, suggesting an interactive effect of DE-71 and stress. In regard to immunotoxicity, significant suppression of the anti-SRBC response was seen only in mice exposed subchronically to 1000 mg DE-71/kg, an exposure that also resulted in decreased thymus weight. NKC activity was not altered by exposure to DE-71.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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