The use of brominated flame retardants and incineration of bromine-containing materials has lead to an increase in polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PBDD/Fs) in the environment. Measurable amounts of PBDD/Fs have been detected in soil, seafood, and human breast milk and serum. Studies indicate that the relative potencies of some PBDD/Fs based on enzyme induction are equivalent to those of some polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. To assess the humoral immunity relative potencies of PBDD/Fs and compare them to their chlorinated analogs, female B6C3F1/N mice received a single oral exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), 2,3,7,8-tetrabromodibenzofuran (TBDF), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF), 1,2,3,7,8-pentabromodibenzofuran (1PeBDF), 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (1PeCDF), 2,3,4,7,8-pentabromodibenzofuran (4PeBDF), 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (4PeCDF), 2,3-dibromo-7,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (DBDCDD), or 2,3,7-tribromodibenzo-p-dioxin (TriBDD). Inhibition of the immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody forming cell response was measured 4 days following immunization with sheep red blood cells. The data were fit to a Hill model to estimate the ED50 for inhibition. Expression of xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme (XME) and thyroxine transport protein (Ttr) genes in liver was measured by PCR to assess aryl hydrocarbon-mediated responses. TCDD, TBDF, TCDF, 1PeBDF, 4PeBDF, 4PeCDF, and DBDCDD suppressed the IgM antibody response and Ttr gene expression, and upregulated phase I XME genes. 1PeCDF suppressed the IgM antibody response but only upregulated phase I XME genes; TriBDD had no effect on antibody response. The rank order of potency (ED50) for these chemicals was TCDD>TBDF>4PeBDF>TCDF/4PeCDF/1PeBDF>1PeCDF. Whereas TCDD was the most potent compound tested, the brominated analogs were more potent than their chlorinated analogs, suggesting that these compounds should be considered in toxic equivalency factor evaluation and risk assessment.
Keywords: 2; 3; 7; 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin; IgM antibody forming cell; TEF; brominated dioxins; brominated furans; chlorinated furans; relative potency; toxic equivalency factor.