Indexed on: 05 Mar '04Published on: 05 Mar '04Published in: Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology
DE-71, a commercial mixture, was used to test the sensitivity of the female and male pubertal protocol to detect thyroid active chemicals. These protocols are being evaluated for the U.S. EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program as part of a Tier I Screening Battery. To examine the ability of these protocols to screen for chemicals that induce the clearance of thyroid hormone, we examined male and female Wistar rats following DE-71 exposure. Rats were gavaged daily with 0, 3, 30, or 60 mg/kg DE in corn oil from postnatal day (PND) 23-53 in the male or PND 22-41 in the female. The temporal effects of DE-71 on liver enzymes and thyroid hormones were measured in another group of males and females following only 5 days of dosing (PND 21 to 26 in females and PND 23 to 28 in males). Serum T4 was significantly decreased at 30 and 60 mg/kg following the 5-day exposures and in the 21-day exposed females. Doses of 3, 30, and 60 mg/kg decreased T4 in 31-day exposed males. Serum T3 was decreased and TSH elevated by 30 and 60 mg/kg in the 31-day exposed males only. Decreased colloid area and increased follicular cell heights (indicative of the hypothyroid state) were observed in thyroids of the 60 mg/kg groups of 20- and 31-day exposed female and males. Increased liver-to-body weight ratios coincided with a significant induction of uridinediphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UDGPT; two to four-fold), and ethoxy- and pentoxy-resorufin-O-deethylase (EROD and PROD) at the two highest doses in all exposures. Of the androgen dependent tissues in the 31-day exposed males, seminal vesicle (SV) and ventral prostate (VP) weights were reduced at 60 mg/kg, while testes and epididymal weights were not affected. Preputial separation (PPS) was also significantly delayed by doses of 30 and 60 mg/kg. In the female, the 60 mg/kg dose also caused a significant delay in the age of vaginal opening. Based upon the thyroid hormone response data, this study provides evidence that the 31-day alternative Tier 1 male protocol is a more sensitive test protocol than the 5-day or female pubertal protocol for thyrotoxic agents that act via up-regulation of hepatic metabolism. This apparent greater sensitivity may be due a greater body burden attained following the longer dosing regimen as compared with that of the female protocol, or to gender specific differences in thyroid hormone metabolism. Also, the delay in PPS and reduction in SV and VP weights may indicate a modification or inhibition of endogenous androgenic stimulation directly by DE-71 or a secondary effect that occurs in response to a DE-induced change in thyroid hormones.