The effects of route and vehicle on blood and milk levels of decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE; CASRN 1163-19-5) were investigated in the rat to assist in the design and conduct of a developmental neurotoxicity study. Blood plasma and/or milk concentrations were determined in dams, fetuses, and/or nursing pups after repeated DecaBDE administration by gavage throughout gestation or gestation and lactation using corn oil (CO) or soyaphospholipon/Lutrol F 127-water (SPL) as the vehicle. The impact of vehicle on plasma levels was also investigated in pups derived from naive dams after a single postnatal dose. This study reports for the first time fetal and neonatal plasma concentrations concurrent with those of maternal plasma and/or milk. Higher concentrations of DecaBDE were achieved in plasma and in milk with CO than with SPL. Furthermore, pups derived from dams treated with only SPL were lower in body weight, compared with those from dams treated with either CO, CO and DecaBDE, or SPL and DecaBDE. The study further shows that exposure to DecaBDE is relatively consistent across the dose range of 100 to 1000 mg/(kg · day) when administered in CO.
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