Journal Article

Effects of Postnatal Exposure to Mixtures of Non-<i>ortho</i>-PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs in Prepubertal Female Rats

D. Desaulniers, K. Leingartner, B. Musicki, A. Yagminas, G.-H. Xiao, J. Cole, L. Marro, M. Charbonneau and B. K. Tsang

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 75, issue 2, pages 468-480
Published in print October 2003 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online October 2003 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Effects of Postnatal Exposure to Mixtures of Non-ortho-PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs in Prepubertal Female Rats

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There are concerns that postnatal exposure to organochlorines present in breast milk could lead to adverse health effects. We reconstituted four mixtures of aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists (3 non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], 6 polychlorinated dibenzodioxins [PCDDs], 7 polychlorinated dibenzofurans [PCDFs], or all 16 chemicals together [referred to as AhRM]) based on their concentrations in breast milk, and examined their effects following exposure by gavage from day 1 until day 20 of age. Female neonates received dosages of AhRM equivalent to 1, 10, 100, or 1000 times the amount consumed by an infant over the first 24 days of life. Other groups received the PCBs, the PCDDs, or the PCDFs at the 1000× level. All rats were sacrificed at 21 days of age. Changes in ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase hepatic activity, thymus and body weights, and serum thyroxin were linked to the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) toxic equivalents (TEQ) of the four mixtures (1000×-AhRM > PCDDs > PCBs > PCDFs). To test for AhRM antiestrogenicity, two additional groups received 1.5 μg/kg of 17α-ethynyl estradiol (EE) with or without the 1000×-AhRM. The AhRM had no effect on uterine weight or EE-stimulated uterine growth. The actions of the combined EE and AhRM treatments suggest additive effects in decreasing pentoxyresorufin-o-deethylase activity and spleen weight, but nonadditive/antagonistic effects on adrenal weight and serum thyroxin. In conclusion, (1) 10×-AhRM had no detectable effects, (2) TEQ values relate to observed toxicities, even when testing complex mixtures of AhR agonists, and (3) indications of tissue-specific additive and nonadditive/antagonistic effects, but no synergism, were observed when doses of AhRM were increased, or combined with EE.

Keywords: uterotrophic bioassay; prepubertal; rat; mixture; CYP 2B; toxic equivalent; polychlorinated biphenyls; polychlorinated dibenzodioxins; polychlorinated dibenzofurans; breast milk

Journal Article.  11253 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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