Exposure to a PBDE/OH-BDE mixture alters juvenile zebrafish (Danio rerio) development.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and their metabolites (e.g., hydroxylated BDEs [OH-BDEs]) are contaminants frequently detected together in human tissues and are structurally similar to thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones partially mediate metamorphic transitions between life stages in zebrafish, making this a critical developmental window that may be vulnerable to chemicals disrupting thyroid signaling. In the present study, zebrafish were exposed to 6-OH-BDE-47 (30 nM; 15 μg/L) alone, or to a low-dose (30 μg/L) or high-dose (600 μg/L) mixture of PentaBDEs, 6-OH-BDE-47 (0.5-6 μg/L), and 2,4,6-tribromophenol (5-100 μg/L) during juvenile development (9-23 d postfertilization) and evaluated for developmental endpoints mediated by thyroid hormone signaling. Fish were sampled at 3 time points and examined for developmental and skeletal morphology, apical thyroid and skeletal gene markers, and modifications in swimming behavior (as adults). Exposure to the high-dose mixture resulted in >85% mortality within 1 wk of exposure, despite being below reported acute toxicity thresholds for individual congeners. The low-dose mixture and 6-OH-BDE-47 groups exhibited reductions in body length and delayed maturation, specifically relating to swim bladder, fin, and pigmentation development. Reduced skeletal ossification was also observed in 6-OH-BDE-47-treated fish. Assessment of thyroid and osteochondral gene regulatory networks demonstrated significantly increased expression of genes that regulate skeletal development and thyroid hormones. Overall, these results indicate that exposures to PBDE/OH-BDE mixtures adversely impact zebrafish maturation during metamorphosis. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:36-48. © 2016 SETAC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Macaulay, LJ; Chernick, M; Chen, A; Hinton, DE; Bailey, JM; Kullman, SW; Levin, ED; Stapleton, HM

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 36 - 48

PubMed ID

  • 27329031

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5535307

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-8618

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/etc.3535


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States