John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The endocrine effects of dietary BDE‐47 exposure, measured across multiple levels of biological organization, in breeding fathead minnows

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The goal of the present study was to evaluate the reproductive function of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to brominated diphenyl ether 47 (BDE‐47) at doses lower than used in previous studies. This was accomplished by evaluating the impacts of BDE‐47 exposures across multiple levels of biological organization. Breeding pairs were exposed to BDE‐47 via diet for 21 days during which reproductive success was monitored. At the conclusion of the exposure, fish were sacrificed to assess the effects of BDE‐47 on sex steroid‐ and thyroid‐related transcripts, plasma androgen levels, gonadosomatic index (GSI) and secondary sexual characteristics (SSCs). Several alterations in gene expression were noted including a greater than 2.1‐fold decrease in hepatic estrogen receptor α (erα) and a 2.9‐fold decrease in ovarian aromatase (arom). In addition, BDE‐47 exposed males experienced increases in deiodinase 2 (dio2) expression in brain tissue (∼1.5‐fold) and decreases in hepatic transthyretin (ttr) expression (∼1.4‐fold). Together, these gene expression alterations suggest the potential for BDE‐47 to disrupt endocrine signaling. There were no significant differences in plasma hormone levels, GSI, SCC or reproductive success. Overall, this study demonstrates that exposure to BDE‐47 is capable of altering both sex steroid‐ and thyroid‐related transcripts, but that these observed alterations do not necessarily manifest themselves at higher levels of biological organization for endpoints selected in this study. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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