Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type


Program or Major

Nutritional Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Gale B Carey

Second Advisor

Joanne Curran-Celentano

Third Advisor

Paul C Tsang


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame-retardant chemicals that contaminate the environment. Through ingestion and inhalation, these chemicals get into the human body, where they affect the liver by suppressing the metabolic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), which is partially responsible for glyceride-glycerol production via glyceroneogenesis. This study investigated the effects of PBDE-induced hepatic PEPCK suppression on glyceroneogenesis, and the associated perturbations in liver lipid metabolism. Twenty-eight male, weanling Wistar rats were treated daily with 14 mg/kg body weight PBDE mixture, DE-71 (TRT, n=14) or corn oil vehicle (CON, n=14) for 28 days. After a 48-hour fast, rats were sacrificed and blood and livers removed for analysis of serum metabolites, PEPCK protein levels, PEPCK activity, liver lipids, and glyceroneogenesis. TRT animals exhibited significant increases in serum ketones (27%), accompanied by significant decreases in serum triglycerides (27%), and liver PEPCK protein (23%), PEPCK Vmax (40%), lipids (29%), and glyceroneogenesis (41%) compared to CON. These findings demonstrate that PBDE-induced PEPCK suppression impacts liver lipid metabolism, likely by suppressing glyceroneogenesis.