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Hepatic transcriptional dose-response analysis of male and female Fischer rats exposed to hexabromocyclododecane

Farmahin, Reza, Gannon, Anne Marie, Gagné, Rémi, Rowan-Carroll, Andrea, Kuo, Byron, Williams, Andrew, Curran, Ivan, Yauk, Carole L.
Food and chemical toxicology 2018 pp. 110262
adverse effects, androstanes, animal tissues, cell cycle, diet, dose response, females, genes, glucose, health effects assessments, hexabromocyclododecane, human health, immune response, liver, males, messenger RNA, metabolism, oxidative stress, pregnanes, rats, receptors, screening, sequence analysis, toxicity, toxicogenomics, transcription (genetics), transcriptomics, xenobiotics
Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a brominated flame retardant found in the environment and human tissues. The toxicological effects of HBCD exposure are not clearly understood. We employed whole-genome RNA-sequencing on liver samples from male and female Fischer rats exposed to 0, 250, 1250, and 5000 mg technical mixture of HBCD/kg diet for 28 days to gain further insight into HBCD toxicity. HBCD altered 428 and 250 gene transcripts in males and females, respectively, which were involved in metabolism of xenobiotics, oxidative stress, immune response, metabolism of glucose and lipids, circadian regulation, cell cycle, fibrotic activity, and hormonal balance. Signature analysis supported that HBCD operates through the constitutive androstane and pregnane X receptors. The median transcriptomic benchmark dose (BMD) for the lowest statistically significant pathway was within 1.5-fold of the BMD for increased liver weight, while the BMD for the lowest pathway with at least three modeled genes (minimum 5% of pathway) was similar to the lowest apical endpoint BMD. The results show how transcriptional analyses can inform mechanisms underlying chemical toxicity and the doses at which potentially adverse effects occur. This experiment is part of a larger study exploring the use of toxicogenomics and high-throughput screening for human health risk assessment.