NTP reports flame retardant increases fat cell development
Using a mouse cell line, researchers from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the University of California, Irvine found that exposure to a common flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), may be linked to early adipogenesis and to lipogenesis, or fat formation. Adipogenesis is the formation of fat cells from cells called preadipocytes, and lipogenesis is the formation of fat.
Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although obesity is usually associated with a high caloric diet, recent studies have shown that exposure to certain environmental chemicals may play a role in increased weight gain. TBBPA, which is found in electronics, paints, textiles, and household dust, is one of those suspected chemicals.
Researchers exposed mouse preadipocytes to different concentrations of TBBPA for eight days and observed an increase in the number of fat cells and fat accumulation. They found that TBBPA decreases the expression of genes that prevent preadipocytes from becoming mature adipocytes and increases the expression of key early genes that eventually activate PPARgamma, which is a known regulator for adipogenesis. Because TBBPA is one of many chemicals that may be involved in the increased formation of fat and fat cells, these novel pathways are of interest to scientists. TBBPA is commonly found in homes and can be detected in human blood, breast milk, and fat. (SK)
Citation: Chappell VA, Janesick A, Blumberg B, Fenton SE. 2018. Tetrabromobisphenol-A promotes early adipogenesis and lipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells. Toxicol Sci 166(2):332–344.