Maternal exposure to an environmentally relevant dose of triclocarban results in perinatal exposure and potential alterations in offspring development in the mouse model

PLoS One. 2017 Aug 9;12(8):e0181996. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181996. eCollection 2017.


Triclocarban (TCC) is among the top 10 most commonly detected wastewater contaminants in both concentration and frequency. Its presence in water, as well as its propensity to bioaccumulate, has raised numerous questions about potential endocrine and developmental effects. Here, we investigated whether exposure to an environmentally relevant concentration of TCC could result in transfer from mother to offspring in CD-1 mice during gestation and lactation using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). 14C-TCC (100 nM) was administered to dams through drinking water up to gestation day 18, or from birth to post-natal day 10. AMS was used to quantify 14C-concentrations in offspring and dams after exposure. We demonstrated that TCC does effectively transfer from mother to offspring, both trans-placentally and via lactation. TCC-related compounds were detected in the tissues of offspring with significantly higher concentrations in the brain, heart and fat. In addition to transfer from mother to offspring, exposed offspring were heavier in weight than unexposed controls demonstrating an 11% and 8.5% increase in body weight for females and males, respectively. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to examine changes in gene expression in liver and adipose tissue in exposed offspring. qPCR suggested alterations in genes involved in lipid metabolism in exposed female offspring, which was consistent with the observed increased fat pad weights and hepatic triglycerides. This study represents the first report to quantify the transfer of an environmentally relevant concentration of TCC from mother to offspring in the mouse model and evaluate bio-distribution after exposure using AMS. Our findings suggest that early-life exposure to TCC may interfere with lipid metabolism and could have implications for human health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbanilides / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / pathology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Waste Water / chemistry
  • Waste Water / toxicity
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Carbanilides
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • triclocarban