PCBs and PBBs: Biologic and toxic effects on C57BL/6J and DBA/2J inbred mice

Larry W. Robertson, Andrew Parkinson, Stelvio Bandiera, Iain Lambert, Jill Merrill, Stephen H. Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Treatment of genetically inbred "responsive" C57BL/6J and "non-responsive" DBA/2J mice with Aroclor 1254 or fireMaster BP-6 resulted in the induction of hepatic microsomal benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase only in the former mouse strain and aminopyrine N-demethylase in both strains of mice. In contrast, 3,3′,4,4′,5-pentachlorobiphenyl and 3,3′,4,4′-tetrabromobiphenyl, induced benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase in both C57BL/6J and DBA/2J but did not enhance aminopyrine N-demethylase in either strain of mouse. Boo these coplanar halogenated biphenyls also caused thymic atrophy in the responsive and non-responsive mice and their effects resembled those of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Treatment of the inbred mice with several mono-ortho substituted analogs of the coplanar halogenated biphenyls, including 2,3,3′,4,4′-pentachloro-, 2,3′,4,4′,5-pentabromo, 2,3,3′,4,4′,5-hexachloro- and 3′,4′-dibromo-2,3,4,5-tetrachlorobiphenyl, gave hepatic enzyme-induction results similar to those observed for the commercial halogenated biphenyls. At dose levels of 1500 μmol/kg, most of these compounds caused thymic atrophy in C57BL/6J mice but not in DBA/2J mice. The structure-activity correlations in the mice complement similar studies with the halogenated biphenyls in rats and support the proposed receptor-mediated mechanism for the toxic halogenated aromatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1984


  • Biologic and toxic effects
  • Inbred mice
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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