Abstract Title:

Toxicologic effects of 28-day dietary exposure to the flame retardant 1,2-dibromo-4-(1,2-dibromoethyl)-cyclohexane (TBECH) in F344 rats.

Abstract Source:

Toxicology. 2017 02 15 ;377:1-13. Epub 2016 Dec 5. PMID: 27932249

Abstract Author(s):

Ivan H A Curran, Virginia Liston, Andrée Nunnikhoven, Don Caldwell, Matthew J S Scuby, Peter Pantazopoulos, Dorothea F K Rawn, Laurie Coady, Cheryl Armstrong, David E Lefebvre, Genevieve S Bondy

Article Affiliation:

Ivan H A Curran


The brominated flame retardant TBECH is used as an additive to delay ignition and inhibit fires in construction materials and consumer goods. Trends in human exposure are not clear, although humans may be exposed to TBECH via indoor dust and air. In birds and fish there is some evidence of disruption in endocrine and reproductive parameters due to TBECH. In vitro studies indicate that TBECH is an androgen receptor agonist. In this study rats were exposed to 0, 10, 50, 250, 1250 or 5000mg/kg technical TBECH for 28days in diet, corresponding to 0, 0.9, 4.2, 21.3, 98.0 or 328.9mg TBECH/kg bw/d in males and 0, 0.8, 3.9, 19.4, 91.7 or 321.4mg TBECH/kg bw/d in females. Dose-dependent increases inα- and β- TBECH were detected in serum, liver and adipose. Rats in the 5000mg/kg group lost weight rapidly and were euthanized after 15-18days. At study termination rats displayed dose-dependent clinical and histopathological changes consistent with mild hepatic and renal inflammation. In male rats, evidence of gender-specific alpha-globulin nephropathy was not considered predictive of renal toxicity in humans. Frank immunosuppression or inappropriate immunostimulation were not apparent, nor was there a primary effect of TBECH on adaptive immunity. Some evidence of hormone disruption was observed, including changes in serum testosterone levels in males and changes in serum T3 and T4 levels in females. Apparent increases in thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia in male and female rats were not statistically significant. Benchmark dose (BMD) modelling indicated that clinical changes indicative of mild nephrotoxicity and increased blood monocyte numbers indicative of inflammation and tissue damage were the most sensitive outcomes of TBECH exposure that could be modelled. Preliminary evidence of hormone disruption supports the need for rodent studies using more sensitive models of growth, development and reproduction.

Study Type : Animal Study
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