Reproductive and Thyroid Hormone Levels in Rats Following 90-Day Dietary Exposure To Pcb 28 (2,4,4'-Trichlorobiphenyl) or Pcb 77 (3,3',4,4'-Tetrachlorobiphenyl)
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Subchronic exposure to the PCB congener 77 (PCB 77) and 28 (PCB 28) was previously shown to induce histological changes in the thyroid and in the brain biogenic amines levels, suggesting possible effects on thyroid and reproductive hormone levels. Thus, the effects of a 90-day dietary exposure to PCB 28 or 77 on luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and testosterone concentrations were studied in male rats, as well as the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroxine (T4) and uridine diphosphate-glucuronyl transferase (UDP-GT) activity in both genders. Weanling Sprague Dawley rats were randomly distributed into groups of 10 rats and were fed, for the next 13 weeks, purina lab chow containing 50, 500, 5,000 or 50 000 ppb of PCB 28 or 10, 100, 1000, or 10 000 ppb of PCB 77. The serum concentrations of T4 were decreased in rats of both sexes receiving 1000 ppb or more of PCB 77, and was associated with an increased activity of UDP-GT which reached significance only in the females. There was a tendency for the highest dose of PCB 28 also to decrease serum T4 concentrations in the female rats. None of the PCB treatments significantly altered gonadotropin, TSH, or testosterone concentrations. These results suggest that thyroid functions may be more susceptible or adapt less readily than the pituitary gland and the testes to endocrine disruption caused by PCB congeners.
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