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Environmentally relevant doses of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) cause immunotoxicity in murine macrophages

Wang, Xia, Wei, Lai, Zhu, Jianbo, He, Bingnan, Kong, Baida, Xue, Zimeng, Jin, Xini, Fu, Zhengwei
Chemosphere 2019 v.236 pp. 124413
blood flow, cell viability, flame retardants, genes, immunotoxicity, interleukin-10, interleukin-13, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-4, interleukin-6, macrophages, messenger RNA, mice, phagocytosis, protein content, reactive oxygen species, risk, staining, transcription factor NF-kappa B, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
TBBPA is one of the main brominated flame retardants and is ubiquitous in the environment. TBBPA can directly encounter immune cells via the bloodstream, posing potential immunotoxicity. To understand the immunomodulating effect of TBBPA on macrophages, the murine macrophages, RAW 264.7, were exposed to TBBPA at environmentally relevant concentrations (1–100 nM). The results showed that TBBPA at the selected concentrations did not alter cell viability of RAW 264.7 cells with or without LPS stimulation. TBBPA upregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, whereas it attenuated the LPS-stimulated expression of these pro-inflammatory cytokines, and the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13. In addition, TBBPA reduced the mRNA levels of antigen-presenting-related genes, including H2–K2, H2-Aa, Cd80, and Cd86. Moreover, TBBPA impaired the phagocytic activity of macrophages. Furthermore, exposure to TBBPA significantly elevated the protein levels of phosphorylated NF-κB p65 (p-p65), while it reduced LPS-stimulated p-p65 protein levels. DCFH-DA staining assays showed that TBBPA caused a slight but significant elevation in reactive oxygen species levels. The data obtained in the present study demonstrated that exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of TBBPA posed immunotoxicity in macrophages and unveiled a potential health risk of TBBPA.