American Chemical Society
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Thyroid-Disrupting Effects of Exposure to Fipronil and Its Metabolites from Drinking Water Based on Human Thyroid Follicular Epithelial Nthy-ori 3‑1 Cell Lines

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-06, 16:19 authored by Jianhui Zhuang, Zhiqiang Jiang, Dawei Chen, Jingguang Li, M. James C. Crabbe, Meiyue Qiu, Yuxin Zheng, Weidong Qu
Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide used for plants and poultry. Owing to its widespread use, fipronil and its metabolites (fipronil sulfone, fipronil desulfinyl, and fipronil sulfide), termed FPM, can be frequently detected in drinking water and food. Fipronil can affect the thyroid function of animals, but the effects of FPM on the human thyroid remain unclear. We employed human thyroid follicular epithelial Nthy-ori 3-1 cells to examine combined cytotoxic responses, thyroid-related functional proteins including the sodium-iodide symporter (NIS), thyroid peroxidase (TPO), deiodinases I–III (DIO I–III), and the nuclear factor erythroid-derived factor 2–related factor 2 (NRF2) pathway induced by FPM of 1–1000-fold concentrations detected in school drinking water collected from a heavily contaminated area of the Huai River Basin. Thyroid-disrupting effects of FPM were evaluated by examining biomarkers of oxidative stress and thyroid function and tetraiodothyronine (T4) levels secreted by Nthy-ori 3-1 cells after FPM treatment. FPM activated the expression of NRF2, HO-1 (heme oxygenase 1), TPO, DIO I, and DIO II but inhibited NIS expression and increased the T4 level of thyrocytes, indicating that FPM can disrupt the function of human thyrocytes through oxidative pathways. Given the adverse impact of low FPM concentrations on human thyrocytes, supportive evidence from rodent studies, and the critical importance of thyroid hormones on development, the effects of FPM on the neurodevelopment and growth of children warrant priority attention.