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Title: Biotransformation of 2,4,6-tris(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine (TTBP-TAZ) can contribute to high levels of 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP) in humans.

Authors: Zheng, Guomao; Melo, Luma; Chakraborty, Rishika; Klaunig, James E; Salamova, Amina

Published In Environ Int, (2022 Jan)

Abstract: 2,4,6-Tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP) is a brominated flame retardant that accumulates in human tissues and is a potential toxicant. Previous studies found 2,4,6-TBP levels in human tissues were significantly higher than those of brominated flame retardants measured in the same samples. In contrast, the levels of 2,4,6-TBP in the environment and foodstuff are not elevated, suggesting a low potential for direct intake through environmental exposure or diet. Here, we hypothesized that high levels of 2,4,6-TBP in human tissues are partially from the indirect exposure sources, such as biotransformation of highly brominated substances. We conducted in vitro assays utilizing human and rat liver microsomes to compare the biotransformation rates of four highly brominated flame retardants, which could potentially transform to 2,4,6-TBP, including decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), 2,4,6-tris-(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine (TTBP-TAZ), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). Our results show that TTBP-TAZ rapidly metabolizes in both human and rat liver microsomes with a half-life of 1.1 and 2.2 h, respectively, suggesting that TTBP-TAZ is a potential precursor of 2,4,6-TBP. In contrast, 2,4,6-TBP was not formed as a result of biotransformation of TBBPA, BTBPE, and DBDPE in both human and rat liver microsomes. We applied suspect and target screening to explore the metabolic pathways of TTBP-TAZ and identified 2,4,6-TBP as a major metabolite of TTBP-TAZ accounting for 87% of all formed metabolites. These in vitro results were further tested by an in vivo experiment in which 2,4,6-TBP was detected in the rat blood and liver at concentrations of 270 ± 110 and 50 ± 14 μg/g lipid weight, respectively, after being exposed to 250 mg/kg body weight/day of TTBP-TAZ for a week. The hepatic mRNA expression demonstrated that TTBP-TAZ significantly activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and promotes fatty degeneration (18 and 28-fold change compared to control, respectively) in rats.

PubMed ID: 34717176 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Biotransformation; Environmental Monitoring; Flame Retardants*/analysis; Flame Retardants*/toxicity; Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers/toxicity; Humans; Hydrocarbons, Brominated; Phenols; Rats; Triazines/analysis; Triazines/toxicity

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