Hydroxylated PBDEs induce developmental arrest in zebrafish


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Abstract

The ubiquitous spread of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) has led to concerns regarding the metabolites of these congeners, in particular hydroxylated PBDEs. There are limited studies regarding the biological interactions of these chemicals, yet there is some concern they may be more toxic than their parent compounds. In this study three hydroxylated PBDEs were assessed for toxicity in embryonic zebrafish: 3-OH-BDE 47, 5-OH-BDE 47, and 6-OH-BDE 47. All three congeners induced developmental arrest in a concentration-dependent manner; however, 6-OH-BDE 47 induced adverse effects at lower concentrations than the other congeners. Furthermore, all three induced cell death; however apoptosis was not observed. In short-term exposures (24–28 hours post fertilization), all hydroxylated PBDEs generated oxidative stress in the region corresponding to the cell death at 5 and 10 ppm. To further investigate the short-term effects that may be responsible for the developmental arrest observed in this study, gene regulation was assessed for embryos exposed to 0.625 ppm 6-OH-BDE 47 from 24 to 28 hpf. Genes involved in stress response, thyroid hormone regulation, and neurodevelopment were significantly upregulated compared to controls; however, genes related to oxidative stress were either unaffected or downregulated. This study suggests that hydroxylated PBDEs disrupt development, and may induce oxidative stress and potentially disrupt the cholinergic system and thyroid hormone homeostasis.

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