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Effect of pregnancy on the disposition of 2,2',3,5',6-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95) atropisomers and their hydroxylated metabolites in female mice.


Chiral PCBs, such as PCB 95, are developmental neurotoxicants that undergo atropisomeric enrichment in nonpregnant adult mice. Because pregnancy is associated with changes in hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme activity as well as lipid disposition and metabolism, this study investigates the effect of pregnancy on the maternal disposition of chiral PCBs. Female C57BL/6 mice (8 weeks old) were dosed daily beginning 2 weeks prior to conception and continuing throughout gestation and lactation (56 days total) with racemic PCB 95 (0, 0.1, 1.0, or 6.0 mg/kg body wt/day) in peanut butter. Levels and chiral signatures of PCB 95 and its hydroxylated metabolites (OH-PCBs) were determined in adipose, blood, brain, and liver. Tissue levels of PCB 95 increased 4- to 12-fold with increasing dose, with considerable enrichment of the second eluting atropisomer in all tissues (EF range 0.11 to 0.26). OH-PCBs displayed atropisomeric enrichment in blood and liver but were not detected in adipose and brain. Levels of PCB 95 and its metabolites were 2- to 11-fold lower in pregnant dams relative to those previously reported in nonpregnant age-matched female mice; however, PCB 95 and OH-PCB profiles and chiral signatures were similar between both studies. In contrast, human brain samples contained racemic PCB 95 residues (EF = 0.50). These results demonstrate that changes in cytochrome P450 enzyme activity and lipid disposition during pregnancy reduce the PCB body burden in dams but do not affect metabolite profiles or chiral signatures. The differences in chiral signatures between mice and humans suggest species-specific differences in atropisomeric disposition, the toxicological significance of which remains to be determined.

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