Chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans and the human immune system: 3. Plasma immunoglobulins and cytokines of workers with quantified moderately-increased body burdens

Life Sci. 2000 Apr 21;66(22):2123-42. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(00)00540-3.


The concentrations of immunoglobulins (IgA, IgD, IgG, IgM) and of several cytokines were measured in the plasma of volunteers with clearly, but moderately, increased body burdens of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), using monoclonal antibodies and an enzyme-linked immuno-sorbant assay. Two groups of workers with different body burdens of PCDD/PCDF were studied: (trial I) persons with mainly 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and (trial II) persons with mainly penta- and hexachlorinated dibenzofurans (P5CDF/H6CDF) in their blood fat. Including the reference group, 158 volunteers were investigated. A slight but statistically significant decrease was observed in the plasma concentration of IgG1 in persons exposed to TCDD, but not in persons exposed to P5CDF/H6CDF. When the data of both groups were pooled and a multi-regression analysis against international TCDD toxicity equivalencies (I-TEq, NATO/CCMS) was performed, taking several confounding factors into account, no influence of the dioxin exposure could be revealed. There were no changes in the plasma concentrations of the other immunoglobulins studied. In the same volunteers, no deviation from the reference range was found for the concentrations of the cytokines: IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNFalpha in blood plasma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Benzofurans / toxicity*
  • Body Burden
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / analysis


  • Benzofurans
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • 1,2,3,4,7,8-hexachlorodibenzofuran
  • 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran