Immunotoxicity of sodium bromate in female B6C3F1 mice: a 28-day drinking water study
Bromate is one of the water disinfection by-products (DBPs) produced during the process of ozonation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immunotoxic potential of sodium bromate (SB) in female B6C3F1 mice. SB was administered in the drinking water for 28 days at doses of 80-800 mg/l. There was no difference in drinking water consumption between the animals exposed to SB and the tap water controls. Exposure to SB did not produce any signs of overt toxicity. Furthermore, no significant differences were observed in body weight, body weight gain, or the weights of thymus, liver, kidneys or lungs. No gross pathological lesions were observed in SB-treated animals. However, animals exposed to SB had a significant increase in absolute (28%) and relative (26%) spleen weights. The erythrocyte count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), platelet count, total leukocyte count, and counts of differential leukocytes were unaffected by SB. A dose-related increase in reticulocytes was observed following exposure to SB with the greatest increase (78%) observed at the highest dose level. Overall, there were no changes in the absolute number of total T cells, CD4+CD8- T cells, CD4-CD8+ T cells, natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages. Exposure to SB did not affect the percentage of B cells, although a slight increase in absolute number of B cells at the dose of 600 mg/l was observed. There was no alteration in IgM antibody-forming cell (AFC) response, mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR) and NK cell activity after exposure to SB. When the activity of peritoneal macrophages, unstimulated or stimulated with IFN-gamma and LPS, was evaluated using the cytotoxic/cytostatic assay of B16F10 tumor cells, the suppressive effect of macrophages on the proliferation of B16F10 tumor cells was decreased after exposure to SB. In conclusion, SB, when administered in the drinking water at doses from 80 mg/l to 800 mg/l, produced minimal toxicological and immunotoxic effects in female B6C3F1 mice.