Tributyltin (TBT), a toxic environmental contaminant, has been widely utilized for various industrial, agricultural and household purposes. Its usage has led to a global contamination and its bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms and terrestrial mammals. Previous studies suggest that TBT has debilitating effects on the overall immune function of animals, rendering them more vulnerable to diseases. TBT (at concentrations that have been detected in human blood) alters secretion of inflammatory cytokines from human lymphocytes ex vivo. Thus, it is important to determine if specified levels of TBT can alter levels of cytokines in an in vivo system. Mice were exposed to biologically relevant concentrations of TBT (200, 100 or 25 nM final concentrations). The quantitative determination of interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL2, IL5, IL7, IL12βp40, IL13, IL15, keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP), MIP2 and regulated on activation normal T-cell-expressed and secreted (RANTES) was performed in mouse sera by MAGPIX analysis and Western blot. Results indicated alterations (both decreases and increases) in several cytokines. The pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ, TNFα, IL-1β, IL-2, IL5, IL12βp40 and IL-15 were altered as were the chemokines MIP-1 and RANTES and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-13. Increases in IFNγ and TNFα were seen in the serum of mice exposed to TBT for less than 24 h. Levels of IL1β, IL-12 βp40, IL-5 and IL-15 were also modulated in mouse serum, depending on the specific experiment and exposure level. IL-2 was consistently decreased in mouse serum when animals were exposed to TBT. There were also TBT-induced increases in MIP-1β, RANTES and IL-13. These results from human and murine samples clearly suggest that TBT exposures modulate the secretion inflammatory cytokines.
Lawrence S, Pellom ST Jr, Shanker A, Whalen MM. Tributyltin exposure alters cytokine levels in mouse serum. J Immunotoxicol. 2016 Nov;13(6):870-878. doi: 10.1080/1547691X.2016.1221867. Epub 2016 Sep 7. PMID: 27602597; PMCID: PMC5159249.