Non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl neurotoxic equivalents found in environmental and human samples

E. B. Holland, I. N. Pessah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyls (NDL PCB) are recognized neurotoxicants with implications on altered neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration in exposed organisms. NDL PCB neurotoxic relative potency schemes have been developed for a single mechanism, namely activity toward the ryanodine receptor (RyR), or combined mechanisms including, but not limited to, alterations of RyR and dopaminergic pathways. We compared the applicability of the two neurotoxic equivalency (NEQ) schemes and applied each scheme to PCB mixtures found in environmental and human serum samples. A multiple mechanistic NEQ predicts higher neurotoxic exposure concentrations as compared to a scheme based on the RyR alone. Predictions based on PCB ortho categorization, versus homologue categorization, lead to a higher prediction of neurotoxic exposure concentrations, especially for the mMOA. The application of the NEQ schemes to PCB concentration data suggests that PCBs found in fish from US lakes represent a considerable NEQ exposure to fish consuming individuals, that indoor air of schools contained high NEQ concentrations representing an exposure concern when inhaled by children, and that levels already detected in the serum of adults and children may contribute to neurotoxicity. With further validation and in vivo exposure data the NEQ scheme would help provide a more inclusive measure of risk presented by PCB mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104842
JournalRegulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Congener
  • Equivalency scheme
  • NEQ
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Non-dioxin-like PCBs
  • Potency
  • TEF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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