Anti-thyroid hormonal activity of tetrabromobisphenol A, a flame retardant, and related compounds: Affinity to the mammalian thyroid hormone receptor, and effect on tadpole metamorphosis

Life Sci. 2005 Feb 18;76(14):1589-601. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2004.08.030. Epub 2004 Dec 22.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antithyroid Agents / pharmacology*
  • CHO Cells
  • Chlorophenols / pharmacology
  • Cricetinae
  • Female
  • Flame Retardants / pharmacology*
  • Genes, Reporter / genetics
  • Larva
  • Metamorphosis, Biological / drug effects*
  • Pituitary Gland / drug effects
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls / pharmacology*
  • Ranidae
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / genetics
  • Thyroid Hormones / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Hormones / pharmacology
  • Triiodothyronine / pharmacology


  • Antithyroid Agents
  • Chlorophenols
  • Flame Retardants
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Triiodothyronine
  • tetrachlorodian
  • tetrabromobisphenol A