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PBB fed to immature chickens: its effect on organ weights and function and on the cardiovascular system.

  • R K Ringer
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1978
  • Biology
  • Medicine


In a series of polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) feeding trials in White Leghorn cockerel chicks, the effects of PBB on various physiological parameters and organ weights were determined. These measurements included: growth, thyroid function, ECG, cardiac output, blood pressure, hematocrit, erythropoietin levels, and spleen, bursa of Fabricius, thyroid, testes, comb, liver weights. In addition, tissues were histologically examined. PBB, in the commercial grade form of hexabromobiphenyl, was administered continuously in the diet at levels ranging from 50 to 250 ppm. Pair-feeding studies were conducted to ascertain the effects of the drug per se since preliminary trials indicated that PBB administration resulted in decreased feed intake. Chronic administration resulted in depressed body weight as a result of decreased feed intake; decreased comb, testes, spleen, and bursa weights; increased liver and thyroid weight; hydropericardium and ascites; decreased hematological values due to depressed plasma erythropietin levels; decreased heart rate, packed cell volume, hemoglobin and cardiac output; decreased voltage amplitude of the ECG and a shift in the mean electrical axis. No significant differences were found in blood pressure (mean arterial and pulse pressure), stroke volume, or respiratory rate.

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