1,2-Dibromo-4-(1,2-dibromoethyl)-cyclohexane and tris(methylphenyl) phosphate cause significant effects on development, mRNA expression, and circulating bile acid concentrations in chicken embryos

1,2-Dibromo-4-(1,2-dibromoethyl)-cyclohexane (DBE-DBCH; formerly abbreviated as TBECH) and tris(methylphenyl) phosphate (TMPP; formerly abbreviated as TCP) are additive flame retardants that are detected in the environment and biota. A recent avian in vitro screening study of 16 flame retardants identified DBE-DBCH and TMPP as important chemicals for follow-up in ovo evaluation based on their effects on cytotoxicity and mRNA expression in avian hepatocytes. In this study, technical mixtures of DBE-DBCH and TMPP were injected into the air cell of chicken embryos at concentrations ranging from 0 to 54,900ng/g and from 0 to 261,400ng/g, respectively, to determine effects on pipping success, development, hepatic mRNA expression, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations. Both compounds were detectable in embryos at pipping and the ?-DBE-DBCH isomer was depleted more rapidly than the ?-isomer in tissue samples. DBE-DBCH had limited effects on the endpoints measured, with the exception of the up-regulation of two phase I metabolising enzymes, CYP3A37 and CYP2H1. TMPP exposure caused embryonic deformities, altered growth, increased liver somatic index (LSI) and plasma bile acid concentrations, and altered mRNA expression levels of genes associated with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism and the thyroid hormone pathway. Overall, TMPP elicited more adverse molecular and phenotypic effects than DBE-DBCH albeit at concentrations several orders of magnitude greater than those detected in the environment. The increase in plasma bile acid concentrations was a useful phenotypic anchor as it was associated with a concomitant increase in LSI, discoloration of the liver tissue, and modulation of hepatic genes involved with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism.

Authors: Crump D, Porter E, Egloff C, Williams KL, Letcher RJ, Gauthier LT, Kennedy SW. ;Full Sources: Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology. 2014 Jun 15;277(3):279-87. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2014.03.028. Epub 2014 Apr 12. ;