Background: The present study was undertaken to examine the immunological effects of pentabrominated diphenyl ether (penta-BDE) and decabrominated diphenyl ether (deca-BDE) on the immune system of the dams and the developmental immune system of the offsprings.
Methods: In this study, mated female C57BL/6J mice were orally administered penta-BDE, deca-BDE or corn oil for 5 weeks, from gestational day 6 to lactational day 21.
Results: The body weight of PND21 exposed to penta-BDE was significantly decreased relative to control mice, but that of post-natal day 63 (PND63) were recovered. Orally dosed dams with penta-BDE had significantly smaller absolute and relative spleen masses than control mice. Absolute and relative spleen and thymus masses of PND21 exposed to penta-BDE were significantly decreased over control. The exposure of dams and PND21 with penta-BDE reduced the number of splenocytes and thymocytes. As results of hematologic analysis, percentage WBC and percentage neutrophils increased in dams with deca-BDE. Splenic T cell proliferation in dams and PND21 exposed to penta-BDE was increased, and there were no significant difference in splenic B cell proliferation in all treatment groups. As results of flow cytometric analysis of splenocyte, percentage total T cell, Th cell and Tc cell in PND21 exposed to penta-BDE was slightly increased, and percentage macrophage in dams and PND21 exposed to deca-BDE was decreased. The ELISA results of antibody production show no significant difference in all treatment groups relative to controls.
Conclusion: These results imply that PBDEs given to the dam were transferred to the offspring during gestation and lactation, and PBDEs transferred from the dam affect immune system of offspring.
Keywords: Deca-BDE; Developing immune system; Penta-BDE.