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Debromination of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Congeners BDE 99 and BDE 183 in the Intestinal Tract of the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

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posted on 2004-02-15, 00:00 authored by Heather M. Stapleton, Robert J. Letcher, Joel E. Baker
Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congener patterns in biota are often enriched in tetra-, penta-, and hexabrominated diphenyl ethers, which is believed to result from the use of the commercial “pentaBDE” formulation. However, our evidence suggests that debromination of PBDEs occurs within fish tissues leading to appreciable ac cumulation of less brominated congeners. This suggests that PBDE body burdens can reflect both direct uptake from exposure and debromination of more highly brominated congeners. We conducted two independent dietary exposure studies using the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) to trace the fate of 2,2‘,4,4‘,5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 99) and 2,2‘,3,4,4‘,5‘,6-heptabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 183) in fish tissues. Carp were fed food spiked with individual BDE congeners for 62 d, and depuration was monitored during the following 37 d. Significant debromination was observed, converting BDE 99 to 2,2‘,4,4‘-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 47) and BDE 183 to 2,2‘,4,4‘,5,6-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 154) and another as yet unidentified hexa-BDE congener. The BDE 99 concentration rapidly declined from 400 ± 40 ng/g ww in the food to 53 ± 12 ng/g ww in the gut content material sampled 2.5 ± 1 h following feeding. At least 9.5 ± 0.8% of the BDE 99 mass in the gut was debrominated to BDE 47 and assimilated in carp tissues. In the BDE 183 exposure, approximately 17% of the BDE 183 mass was debrominated and accumulated in carp tissues in the form of two hexa-BDE congeners. In both exposure studies, the concentration of the exposure compound decreased significantly in the gut within 2.5 ± 1 h following ingestion. This rapid decrease in the concentration of the BDE congeners could not be explained entirely by debromination to quantified products or fecal egestion. Reactions occurring within the gut transform BDE congeners to other products that may accumulate or be excreted. Further studies are needed to identify and determine the effects of these BDE metabolites.