John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Acute exposure to DE‐71: Effects on locomotor behavior and developmental neurotoxicity in zebrafish larvae

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the acute developmental neurotoxicity of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in zebrafish larvae. From 2 to 120 h postfertilization Zebrafish embryos at were exposed to DE‐71 (0, 31.0, 68.7, and 227.6 µg/L). We studied the locomotor behavior of larvae, involvement of the cholinergic system, and selected gene and protein expressions in the central nervous system. Our results showed that low DE‐71 concentration caused hyperactivity, whereas higher concentrations decreased activity during the dark period. During the light period, larval activity was significantly reduced in a concentration‐dependent manner. In the cholinergic system, acetylcholinesterase activity significantly increased (10.7and 12.4%) in the 68.7 and 227.6 µg/L exposure groups, respectively, and acetylcholine concentration accordingly decreased (60.5%) in the 227.6 µg/L exposure group. The mRNA expressions of genes encoding myelin basic protein, neuron microtubule protein (α1‐tubulin), and sonic hedgehog a were significantly downregulated. Western blotting assay demonstrated that the protein concentration of α1‐tubulin was also decreased. Overall, this study demonstrated that acute exposure to PBDEs can disrupt the neurobehavior of zebrafish larvae and affect cholinergic neurotransmission and neuron development. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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