PBDEs Concentrate in the Fetal Portion of the Placenta: Implications for Thyroid Hormone Dysregulation.
During pregnancy, the supply of thyroid hormone (TH) to the fetus is critically important for fetal growth, neural development, metabolism, and maintenance of pregnancy. Additionally, in cases where maternal and placental TH regulation is significantly altered, there is an increased risk of several adverse pregnancy outcomes. It is unclear what may be disrupting placental TH regulation; however, studies suggest that environmental contaminants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), could be playing a role. In this study, Wistar rats were gestationally exposed to a mixture of PBDEs for 10 days. THs and PBDEs were quantified in paired maternal serum, dissected placenta, and fetuses, and mRNA expression of transporters in the placenta was assessed. Significantly higher concentrations of PBDEs were observed in the fetal portion of the placenta compared with the maternal side, suggesting that PBDEs are actively transported across the interface. PBDEs were also quantified in 10 recently collected human maternal and fetal placental tissues; trends paralleled observations in the rat model. We also observed an effect of PBDEs on T3 levels in dam serum, as well as suggestive changes in the T3 levels of the placenta and fetus that varied by fetal sex. mRNA expression in the placenta also significantly varied by fetal sex and dose. These observations suggest the placenta is a significant modifier of fetal exposures, and that PBDEs are impacting TH regulation in a sex-specific manner during this critical window of development.
Ruis, MT; Rock, KD; Hall, SM; Horman, B; Patisaul, HB; Stapleton, HM
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