Effects of Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate and Tris(1-chloropropyl) phosphate on Cytotoxicity and mRNA Expression in Primary Cultures of Avian Hepatocytes and Neuronal Cells

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Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) and tris(1-chloropropyl) phosphate (TCPP) belong to a group of chemicals collectively known as triester organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs). OPFRs are used in a wide range of consumer products and have been detected in biota, including free-living avian species; however, data on toxicological and molecular effects of exposure are limited. An in vitro screening approach was used to compare concentration-dependent effects of TDCPP and TCPP on cytotoxicity and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in cultured hepatocytes and neuronal cells derived from embryonic chickens. TDCPP was toxic to hepatocytes (LC50 = 60.3 ± 45.8μM) and neuronal cells (LC50 = 28.7 ± 19.1μM), whereas TCPP did not affect viability in either cell type up to the highest concentration administered, 300μM. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR revealed alterations in mRNA abundance of genes associated with phase I and II metabolism, the thyroid hormone (TH) pathway, lipid regulation, and growth in hepatocytes. None of the transcripts measured in neuronal cells (D2, D3, RC3, and Oct-1) varied in response to TDCPP or TCPP exposure. Exposure to ≥ 10μM TDCPP and TCPP resulted in significant upregulation of CYP2H1 (4- to 8-fold), CYP3A37 (13- to 127-fold), and UGT1A9 (3.5- to 7-fold) mRNA levels. Transthyretin was significantly downregulated more than twofold by TCPP at 100μM; however, TDCPP did not alter its expression. Liver fatty acid–binding protein, TH-responsive spot 14-α, and insulin-like growth factor-1 were all downregulated (up to 10-fold) in hepatocytes exposed to ≥ 0.01μM TDCPP and TCPP. Taken together, our results indicate that genes associated with xenobiotic metabolism, the TH pathway, lipid regulation, and growth are vulnerable to TDCPP and TCPP administration in cultured avian hepatocytes. The mRNA expression data were similar to those from a previous study with hexabromocyclododecane.

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