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Maternal transfer of environmentally relevant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) produces a diabetic phenotype and disrupts glucoregulatory hormones and hepatic endocannabinoids in adult mouse female offspring.

  • Author(s): Kozlova, Elena V;
  • Chinthirla, Bhuvaneswari D;
  • Pérez, Pedro A;
  • DiPatrizio, Nicholas V;
  • Argueta, Donovan A;
  • Phillips, Allison L;
  • Stapleton, Heather M;
  • González, Gwendolyn M;
  • Krum, Julia M;
  • Carrillo, Valeria;
  • Bishay, Anthony E;
  • Basappa, Karthik R;
  • Currás-Collazo, Margarita C
  • et al.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are brominated flame retardant chemicals and environmental contaminants with endocrine-disrupting properties that are associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome in humans. However, their diabetogenic actions are not completely characterized or understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of DE-71, a commercial penta-mixture of PBDEs, on glucoregulatory parameters in a perinatal exposure model using female C57Bl/6 mice. Results from in vivo glucose and insulin tolerance tests and ex vivo analyses revealed fasting hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, reduced sensitivity and delayed glucose clearance after insulin challenge, decreased thermogenic brown adipose tissue mass, and exaggerated hepatic endocannabinoid tone in F1 offspring exposed to 0.1 mg/kg DE-71 relative to control. DE-71 effects on F0 dams were more limited indicating that indirect exposure to developing offspring is more detrimental. Other ex vivo glycemic correlates occurred more generally in exposed F0 and F1, i.e., reduced plasma insulin and altered glucoregulatory endocrines, exaggerated sympathoadrenal activity and reduced hepatic glutamate dehydrogenase enzymatic activity. Hepatic PBDE congener analysis indicated maternal transfer of BDE-28 and -153 to F1 at a collective level of 200 ng/g lipid, in range with maximum values detected in serum of human females. Given the persistent diabetogenic phenotype, especially pronounced in female offspring after developmental exposure to environmentally relevant levels of DE-71, additional animal studies should be conducted that further characterize PBDE-induced diabetic pathophysiology and identify critical developmental time windows of susceptibility. Longitudinal human studies should also be conducted to determine the risk of long-lasting metabolic consequences after maternal transfer of PBDEs during early-life development.

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