Tel.+49 30 838 62450 Fax.+49 30 838 62522
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used as flame retardants in textiles, plastics and electrical appliances, have been shown to interfere with thyroid homeostasis. We evaluated the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations (low doses) of 2,2',4, 4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE-99) on the female reproductive system. A single dose of either 60 microg or 300 microg PBDE-99/kg body weight (BW) was administered on gestation day 6 to gravid Wistar rats. A reference control was treated with 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU) on gestation days 7-21. Ultrastructural changes compatible with altered mitochondrial morphology were observed in the ovaries of the F1 offspring. No statistically significant changes in ovarian follicle counts were observed. Mating of the F1 females with untreated males revealed resorption rates in the PBDE groups greater than the limits considered normal for our controls. External and skeletal anomalies were detected in offspring (F2) from two different dams (F1) with early developmental exposure to 300 microg PBDE-99/kg BW. Exposure to PBDE-99 resulted in female reproductive tract changes in the F1 generation which were apparent at adulthood.