Developmental Exposure to Low Concentrations of Organophosphate Flame Retardants Causes Life-Long Behavioral Alterations in Zebrafish.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

As the older class of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are phased out of commercial use because of findings of neurotoxicity with developmental exposure, a newer class of flame retardants have been introduced, the organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs). Presently, little is known about the potential for developmental neurotoxicity or the behavioral consequences of OPFR exposure. Our aim was to characterize the life-long neurobehavioral effects of 4 widely used OPFRs using the zebrafish model. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to 0.1% DMSO (vehicle control); or one of the following treatments; isopropylated phenyl phosphate (IPP) (0.01, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3 µM); butylphenyl diphenyl phosphate (BPDP) (0.003, 0.03, 0.3, 3 µM); 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDP) (0.03, 0.3, 1 µM); isodecyl diphenyl phosphate (IDDP) (0.1, 0.3, 1, 10 µM) from 0- to 5-days postfertilization. On Day 6, the larvae were tested for motility under alternating dark and light conditions. Finally, at 5-7 months of age the exposed fish and controls were tested on a battery of behavioral tests to assess emotional function, sensorimotor response, social interaction and predator evasion. These tests showed chemical-specific short-term effects of altered motility in larvae in all of the tested compounds, and long-term impairment of anxiety-related behavior in adults following IPP, BPDP, or EHDP exposures. Our results show that OPFRs may not be a safe alternative to the phased-out BFRs and may cause behavioral impacts throughout the lifespan. Further research should evaluate the risk to mammalian experimental models and humans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Glazer, L; Hawkey, AB; Wells, CN; Drastal, M; Odamah, K-A; Behl, M; Levin, ED

Published Date

  • October 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 165 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 487 - 498

PubMed ID

  • 29982741

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6154272

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0929

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/toxsci/kfy173


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States