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Comparative Tissue Distribution, Biotransformation and Associated Biological Effects by Decabromodiphenyl Ethane and Decabrominated Diphenyl Ether in Male Rats after a 90-Day Oral Exposure Study

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journal contribution
posted on 15.07.2010 by Fuxin Wang, Jing Wang, Jiayin Dai, Guocheng Hu, Jianshe Wang, Xiaojun Luo, Bixian Mai
Recent reports indicate that decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) has become widespread in the environment. Yet databases regarding its bioavailability, biotransformation, and possible toxic effects to wildlife and humans are lacking. In this study, we investigated the bioconcentration and biotransformation of DBDPE after oral exposure and compared the results with those of decabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-209) using rats as a model. Male rats were orally administrated with corn oil containing 100 mg/kg bw/day of DBDPE or BDE-209 for 90 days, after which the levels of DBDPE and BDE-209 in the liver, kidney, and adipose were measured. Biochemical parameters, including thyroid hormone levels, 13 clinical chemistry parameters, and the mRNA expression levels of certain enzymes were also monitored. Results showed DBDPE was found in all tissues with concentrations 3−5 orders of magnitude lower than BDE-209. At least seven unknown compounds were observed in the DBDPE-exposed rats, indicating that DBDPE biotransformation occurred in rats. These compounds were identified by comparing relative retention times and full-scan mass spectra of DBDPE debrominated products from a photolytic degradation experiment using GC/EI-MS and GC/ECNI-MS analysis. The results showed that debromination of DBDPE to lower brominated BDPEs were not the primary metabolic pathway observed in rats. Two of the metabolites were proposed tentatively as MeSO2-nona-BDPE and EtSO2-nona-BDPE using GC/EI-MS, but their structures require further confirmation by other techniques and authentic standards. In addition, evidence of a biological response to DBDPE and BDE-209 and their metabolites in rats are different. To our knowledge, these results are the first indications for the biotransformation of DBDPE in biota. Further studies are necessary to investigate the metabolites of DBDPE and their mechanisms of toxicities to assess the potential risks of DBDPE.