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ISRN Toxicology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 989251, 8 pages
Research Article

Tissue Distribution and Associated Toxicological Effects of Decabrominated Diphenyl Ether in Subchronically Exposed Male Rats

1Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China

Received 20 September 2011; Accepted 12 October 2011

Academic Editors: G. Krumschnabel, R. Mateo, and S. M. Waliszewski

Copyright © 2011 Fuxin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Concerns about decabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-209) have arisen recently due to its increasing concentrations in the environment. We investigated the tissue concentration, distribution, and the debromination of BDE-209 after oral exposure, using rats as a model. Three groups of male rats were administrated by oral gavage with corn oil containing 0, 10, or 50 mg/kg bw/day of BDE-209 over 90 days. After exposure, BDE-209 and its metabolites levels in the liver, kidney, and adipose of the rats were measured. The mRNA expression levels of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in liver, serum thyroid hormone levels, and open-field tests were also measured. BDE-209 and several octa- and nona-BDE congeners were detected in the tissues of the dosed rats, indicating that BDE-209 was bioavailable and biotransformative in male rats. BDE-209 and its debrominated congeners had no mRNA level effect on selective genes from the CYP family in the liver or on the spontaneous behavior of adult male rats. Conversely, the level of thyroid hormone, total triiodothyronine (T3) in rats from the dosed treatments increased significantly compared to the control group.