The environmental pollutant, polychlorinated biphenyls, and cardiovascular disease: a potential target for antioxidant nanotherapeutics

Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2018 Jun;8(3):740-759. doi: 10.1007/s13346-017-0429-9.


Despite production having stopped in the 1970s, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) represent persistent organic pollutants that continue to pose a serious human health risk. Exposure to PCBs has been linked to chronic inflammatory diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, as well as hepatic disorders, endocrine dysfunction, neurological deficits, and many others. This is further complicated by the PCB's strong hydrophobicity, resulting in their ability to accumulate up the food chain and to be stored in fat deposits. This means that completely avoiding exposure is not possible, thus requiring the need to develop intervention strategies that can mitigate disease risks associated with exposure to PCBs. Currently, there is excitement in the use of nutritional compounds as a way of inhibiting the inflammation associated with PCBs, yet the suboptimal delivery and pharmacology of these compounds may not be sufficient in more acute exposures. In this review, we discuss the current state of knowledge of PCB toxicity and some of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nanocarrier systems that may be useful as an enhanced treatment modality for reducing PCB toxicity.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Nanocarriers; PCBs; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Pollutants / chemistry
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / chemistry
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity*


  • Antioxidants
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls