The Feline Thyroid Gland: A Model for Endocrine Disruption by Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)?

Mensching D.A., Slater M., Scott J.W., et al.

J Toxicol Environ Health A, 2012. 75(4): p.201-12.


The role of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) was investigated in the occurrence of feline hyperthyroidism (FH) by evaluating 15 PBDE congeners in serum from 62 client-owned (21 euthyroid, 41 hyperthyroid) and 10 feral cats. Total serum PBDE concentrations in euthyroid cats were not significantly different from those of hyperthyroid cats. Total serum PBDE in feral cats were significantly lower than in either of the groups of client-owned cats. Total serum PBDE did not correlate with serum total T4 concentration. Ten samples of commercial canned cat food and 19 dust samples from homes of client-owned cats were analyzed. Total PBDE in canned cat food ranged from 0.42 to 3.1 ng/g, and total PBDE in dust from 510 to 95,000 ng/g. Total PBDE in dust from homes of euthyroid cats ranged from 510 to 4900 ng/g. In dust from homes of hyperthyroid cats, total PBDE concentrations were significantly higher, ranging from 1100 to 95,000 ng/g. Dust PBDE and serum total T4 concentration were also significantly correlated. Estimates of PBDE exposures calculated from canned cat food and dust data suggest that domestic cats are primarily exposed through ingestion of household dust. These findings indicate further study of the role of PBDE is needed in the development of FH, which might identify the cat as a model and sentinel for humans with toxic nodular goiter (TNG).