The thyroid hormone-disrupting activity of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a flame retardant, and related compounds was examined. TBBPA, tetrachlorobisphenol A (TCBPA), tetramethylbisphenol A (TMBPA) and 3,3'-dimethylbisphenol A (DMBPA) markedly inhibited the binding of triiodothyronine (T3; 1 x 10(-10) M) to thyroid hormone receptor in the concentration range of 1 x 10(-7)-1 x 10(-4) M, while bisphenol A and 2,2-diphenylpropane were inactive. TBBPA, TCBPA, TMBPA and DMBPA did not exhibit thyroid hormonal activity in a thyroid hormone-responsive reporter assay using a Chinese hamster ovary cell line (CHO-K1) transfected with thyroid hormone receptor alpha1 or beta1, but TBBPA and TCBPA showed significant anti-thyroid hormone effects on the activity of T3 (1 x 10(-8) M) in the concentration range of 3 x 10(-6) - 5 x 10(-5) M. The thyroid hormone-disrupting activity of TBBPA was also examined in terms of the effect on amphibian metamorphosis stimulated by thyroid hormone. TBBPA in the concentration range of 1 x 10(-8) to 1 x 10(-6) M showed suppressive action on T3 (5 x 10(-8) M)-enhancement of Rana rugosa tadpole tail shortening. These facts suggest that TBBPA, TCBPA, TMBPA and DMBPA can act as thyroid hormone-disrupting agents.