Tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate affects motor behavior and axonal growth in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae


Tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) is an environmental contaminant that poses serious risks to aquatic organisms and their associated ecosystem. Recently, the reproductive and developmental toxicology of TBOEP has been reported. However, fewer studies have assessed the neurotoxic effects in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae. In this study, zebrafish embryos were subjected to waterborne exposure of TBOEP at 0, 50, 500, 1500 and 2500 μg/L from 2 to 144-h post-fertilization (hpf). Behavioral measurements showed that TBOEP exposure reduced embryonic spontaneous movement and decreased swimming speed of larvae in response to dark stimulation. In accordance with these motor effects, TBOEP treatment reduced neuron-specific GFP expression in transgenic Tg (HuC-GFP) zebrafish larvae and inhibited the growth of secondary motoneurons, as well as decreased expression of marker genes related to central nervous system development in TBOEP treated group. Furthermore, increased concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA), as well as reduction of SOD activity were detected in TBOEP exposure group. The present results showed that the alteration in motor neuron and oxidative stress could together lead to the motor behavior alterations induced by TBOEP.


TBOEP; Zebrafish larvae; Axonal growth; Neurobehavioral toxicity; Oxidative stress