Journal Article

Serum Levels of TCDD and Dioxin-like Chemicals in Rhesus Monkeys Chronically Exposed to Dioxin: Correlation of Increased Serum PCB Levels with Endometriosis

Sherry E. Rier, Wayman E. Turner, Dan C. Martin, Richard Morris, George W. Lucier and George C. Clark

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 59, issue 1, pages 147-159
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/59.1.147
Serum Levels of TCDD and Dioxin-like Chemicals in Rhesus Monkeys Chronically Exposed to Dioxin: Correlation of Increased Serum PCB Levels with Endometriosis

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Humans and animals are exposed daily to a complex mixture of polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs). Previous work has shown that exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is associated with a dose-dependent increase in the incidence and severity of endometriosis in the rhesus monkey. Dioxin-like chemicals can also exert effects in combination with TCDD via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. This study demonstrates that the serum levels of TCDD and specific dioxin-like PHAH congeners were increased in TCDD-treated animals with endometriosis 13 years after the TCDD exposure. Nine TCDD-exposed and 6 unexposed female rhesus monkeys were evaluated for serum content of relevant compounds and for endometriosis by surgical laparoscopy. Additional studies were done on 4 animals that died 7 to 11 years after exposure to TCDD and 4 lead-treated animals with no history of PHAH treatment. For TCDD-exposed and unexposed animals, TCDD exposure correlated with an increased serum TCDD concentration. Furthermore, TCDD exposure and an elevated serum TCDD concentration were associated with increased serum levels of triglycerides, 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexachlorodibenzofuran, 3,3′,4,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl (TCB) and 3,3′4,4′,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PnCB). Importantly, the animals with elevated serum levels of 3,3′,4,4′-TCB, 3,3′,4,4′,5-PnCB and an increased total serum TEQ had a high prevalence of endometriosis, and the severity of disease correlated with the serum concentration of 3,3,',4,4′-TCB. Increased serum concentrations of coplanar PCBs were also present in lead-treated animals. Implications of these findings for human health and the prevalence of endometriosis in humans will be discussed.

Keywords: endometriosis; rhesus monkey; environmental toxicants; dioxin; TCDD; PCB; dioxin-like chemicals

Journal Article.  9820 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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