General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:143 issue:1 pages:1-9
The effects of the dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) 77 and the ortho-substituted PCB 153 on thyroid hormone availability were investigated during the last week of embryonic development in chicken. High doses of these PCBs (1 mu g PCB 77 and 20 mu g PCB 153) were injected into chicken eggs at day 4 of incubation. Blood and tissue samples were collected from day 14 of incubation until 1 day after hatching. We did not observe influences of PCB 153 on thyroid hormone (TH) levels. Treatment with PCB 77, on the other hand, decreased plasma total T-4 concentrations but increased hepatic T-4 levels at day 14 of incubation. Later in development, at stages near the process of hatching, severe decreases of T-4 and T-3 levels were observed in the PCB 77 group, both in plasma and tissues. PCB 77 severely reduced the TH peak that normally coincides with the stage of internal pipping. This reduction was accompanied by a considerable delay in the moment of hatching. We conclude that the dioxin-like PCB 77, but not the orthosubstituted PCB 153, can decrease TH availability towards the end of embryonic development and hence disturb the process of hatching. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.