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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Neurotoxicity of the pentabrominated diphenyl ether mixture, DE-71, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in rat cerebellar granule cells in vitro.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) are compounds used as additive flame retardants in plastics, electronic equipment, and textiles. The aim of the present study was to investigate the in vitro effects of the pentabrominated diphenyl ether mixture, DE-71, and HBCD on cerebellar granule cells (CGC). Both DE-71 and HBCD induced death of CGC in low micromolar concentrations. The NMDA receptor antagonist MK801 (3 muM), and the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol (50 muM) significantly reduced the cell death. Incubation of the compounds together with the rat liver post-mitochondrial (S9) fraction reduced cell death by 58 and 64% for DE-71 and HBCD, respectively. No ROS formation and no elevation in intracellular calcium were observed. We further demonstrated apoptotic morphology (Hoechst straining) after exposure to low levels of the two brominated flame retardants and signs of DNA laddering were found after DE-71 exposure. However, other hallmarks of apoptosis, like caspase activity, were absent indicating an atypical form of apoptosis induced by DE-71. After intraperitoneal injection of the two compounds both DE-71 and HBCD were found in significant amounts in brain (559 +/- 194 and 49 +/- 13 mug/kg, respectively) and liver (4,010 +/- 2,437 and 1,248 +/- 505 mug/kg, respectively) 72 h after injection. Our results indicate that the lower brominated PBDEs have a higher potency of bioaccumulation than HBCD, and that both compounds have a neurotoxic potential in vitro.[1]

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