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Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely used flame retardant compounds. Brominated diphenyl ether (BDE)-47 is one of the most prevalent PBDE congeners found in human breast milk, serum and placenta. Despite the presence of PBDEs in human placenta, effects of PBDEs on placental cell function are poorly understood. The present study investigated BDE-47-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and its role in BDE-47-stimulated proinflammatory cytokine release in a first trimester human extravillous trophoblast cell line, HTR-8/SVneo. Exposure of HTR-8/SVneo cells for 4 h to 20 μM BDE-47 increased ROS generation 1.7 fold as measured by the dichlorofluorescein (DCF) assay. Likewise, superoxide anion production increased approximately 5 fold at 10 and 15 μM and 9 fold at 20 μM BDE-47 with a 1-h exposure, as measured by cytochrome c reduction. BDE-47 (10, 15 and 20 μM) decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential by 47–64.5% at 4, 8 and 24 h as assessed with the fluorescent probe Rh123. Treatment with 15 and 20 μM BDE-47 stimulated cellular release and mRNA expression of IL-6 and IL-8 after 12 and 24-h exposures: the greatest increases were a 35-fold increased mRNA expression at 12 h and a 12-fold increased protein concentration at 24 h for IL-6. Antioxidant treatments (deferoxamine mesylate, (±)α-tocopherol, or tempol) suppressed BDE-47-stimulated IL-6 release by 54.1%, 56.3% and 37.7%, respectively, implicating a role for ROS in the regulation of inflammatory pathways in HTR-8/SVneo cells. Solvent (DMSO) controls exhibited statistically significantly decreased responses compared with non-treated controls for IL-6 release and IL-8 mRNA expression, but these responses were not consistent across experiments and times. Nonetheless, it is possible that DMSO (used to dissolve BDE-47) may have attenuated the stimulatory actions of BDE-47 on cytokine responses. Because abnormal activation of proinflammatory responses can disrupt trophoblast functions necessary for placental development and successful pregnancy, further investigation is warranted of the impact of ROS and BDE-47 on trophoblast cytokine responses.BDE-47 induced ROS overproduction and mitochondrial dysfunction.BDE-47 stimulated production of proinflammatory cytokines.Antioxidant treatment reduced BDE-47-stimulated ROS generation and cytokine release.