Rats were fed polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) at 0.1 to 100.0 ppm for 14 d and then treated to hasten the removal of PBBs with 0, 5, or 10% mineral oil (MO) and/or 0, 15, 30, or 45% feed restriction (FR) for 21 d. PBB body burdens were determined at d 14 and expressed on a log-log basis by Y = 0.91X + 2.179 (r2 = 0.974), where X = log of PBB concentration in diet (ppm) and Y = log of PBB body burden (micrograms). After 21 d withdrawal, body burdens were expressed by the equation Y = 0.787X + 2.218 (r2 = 0.95). The most effective withdrawal treatment was 10% MO + 45% FR producing a reduction of body burdens inversely related to prior body burdens (69% at 0.1 ppm to 23% at 100 ppm). Body weights and fat content were significantly (p less than or equal to .05) reduced by feed restriction, with fat content only 39% of controls at 21 d off. Mortality averaged 0, 13.6, and 35.8% for rats fed 0, 5, or 10% MO, and 25, 15, 8.6, and 3.7% for rats feed restricted at 0, 15, 30, and 45%, respectively. Histopathology of the dead and moribund rats indicated that the clinical signs were not characteristic of PBB toxicity. In a second experiment, safflower oil at 3.5% or excess vitamins prevented the mortality and clinical signs associated with MO during withdrawal from 100 ppm PBBs. Based on these data and those in the literature, PBBs interfere with vitamin utilization.
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