4 years ago

The flame retardant DE-71 (a mixture of polybrominated diphenyl ethers) inhibits human differentiated thyroid cell function <i>in vitro</i>

Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Jacob Hofman-Bang, Christoffer Holst Hahn, Claus Henrik Nielsen, Thit Mynster Kronborg, Marie Frederiksen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Louise Ramhøj, Katrin Vorkamp, Juliana Frohnert Hansen

by Thit Mynster Kronborg, Juliana Frohnert Hansen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Katrin Vorkamp, Claus Henrik Nielsen, Marie Frederiksen, Jacob Hofman-Bang, Christoffer Holst Hahn, Louise Ramhøj, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen


Normal thyroid function is essential for general growth and metabolism, but can be affected by endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used worldwide to reduce flammability in different materials and are suspected to be EDCs. The production of the commercial Penta- and OctaBDE mixtures is banned, but DecaBDEs and existing products may leak PBDEs into the environment. Our aim was to investigate the effect of the PentaBDE mixture DE-71 on human thyroid cells in vitro.

Materials and methods

Primary human thyroid cells were obtained as paraadenomatous tissue and cultured in monolayers. The influence of DE-71 on cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and thyroglobulin (Tg) production was examined in the culture medium by competitive radioimmunoassay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis of thyroid-specific genes was performed on the exposed cell cultures. PBDE concentrations were determined in cellular and supernatant fractions of the cultures.


DE-71 inhibited Tg-release from TSH-stimulated thyrocytes. At 50 mg/L DE-71, mean Tg production was reduced by 71.9% (range: 8.5–98.7%), and cAMP by 95.1% (range: 91.5–98.8%) compared to controls). Expression of mRNA encoding Tg, TPO and TSHr were significantly inhibited (p<0.0001, p = 0.0079, and p = 0.0002, respectively). The majority of DE-71 added was found in the cell fraction. No cytotoxicity was found.


DE-71 inhibited differentiated thyroid cell functions in a two phase response manner and a concentration-dependent inhibition of Tg and cAMP production, respectively, as well as expression of mRNA encoding Tg, TPO and TSHr. Our findings suggest an inhibiting effect of PBDEs on thyroid cells.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179858

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.