Date of Award

Fall 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Nutritional Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Gale B Carey


PBDEs, lipophilic flame-retardant chemicals, are considered to be endocrine-disrupting compounds and potential obesogens. This study investigated PBDE exposure plus a high-fat/high-sugar diet in rats. Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were fed either a control or high-fat/high-sugar diet and gavaged with either 18 mg/kg PBDEs or corn oil daily for 4 weeks. Body weight and food intake were measured 3x/week. At 3 weeks, 24-hr whole-body metabolism was measured. At 4 weeks, blood was sampled for T4 and insulin, epididymal adipose tissue was removed and adipocyte lipolytic response to varying concentrations of isoproterenol was measured. PBDE administration significantly increased weight gain, decreased T4 levels and tended to increase glucose disappearance, increase energy production and decrease insulin levels. A dietxPBDE treatment interaction was noted for metabolic efficiency, protein disappearance, epididymal adipose weight, and insulin level. PBDEs disrupt macronutrient metabolism and energy balance in rats and the obesogenicity of PBDEs can be modulated by diet.