Hypothyroidism and abnormalities in the kinetics of thyroid hormone metabolism in rats treated chronically with polychlorinated biphenyl and polybrominated biphenyl

J J ByrneE A Hanson


Studies were directed at the question of whether polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB; Aroclor 1254) and polybrominated biphenyl (PBB; Fire Master BP-6), when administered in the diets of female Sprague-Dawley rats over long periods of time (5-7 months) and at low dosages (0, 1, 5, 10, and 50 ppm), would depress the thyroid. By examining serum T3 and T4, kinetics of T4 metabolism, and in vivo thyroid response to exogenous TSH injections, an estimate of the degree of hypothyroidism was made, and abnormalities in T4 disappearance from serum were encountered. Serum T3 and T4 levels were greatly suppressed in a dose-related manner by PCB or PBB treatment. There was a diminished response of serum T3 and T4 to TSH injection in rats pretreated with PCB or PBB (5 and 10 ppm), the exception being T3 in the 5 ppm PCB treatment group. Had the PCB and PBB treatment-induced suppression of T4 and T3 been on the hypothalamo-pituitary axis, the response of the treated rats to exogenous TSH might have exceeded that of controls; however, the opposite occurred. Disappearance of injected doses of L-[125I]T4 diminished as treatment concentrations of PCB or PBB increased. Disappearance slopes (r = 0.98) and fractional turnover rate constants (k) were decre...Continue Reading

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