Neurotoxicity of persistent organic pollutants mixture in zebrafish

A Mixture of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid Induces Similar Behavioural Responses, but Different Gene Expression Profiles in Zebrafish Larvae




Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are widespread in the environment and some maybe neurotoxic. As we are exposed to complex mixtures of POPs, we aimed to investigate how aPOP mixture based on Scandinavian human blood data affects behaviour and neurodevelopmentduring early life in zebrafish. Embryos/larvae were exposed to a series of sub-lethal doses andbehaviour was examined at 96 h post fertilization (hpf). In order to determine the sensitivity window tothe POP mixture, exposure models of 6 to 48 and 48 to 96 hpf were used. The expression of genes relatedto neurological development was also assessed. Results indicate that the POP mixture increases theswimming speed of larval zebrafish following exposure between 48 to 96 hpf. This behavioural effectwas associated with the perfluorinated compounds, and more specifically with perfluorooctanesulfonicacid (PFOS). The expression of genes related to the stress response, GABAergic, dopaminergic,histaminergic, serotoninergic, cholinergic systems and neuronal maintenance, were altered. However,there was little overlap in those genes that were significantly altered by the POP mixture and PFOS.Our findings show that the POP mixture and PFOS can have a similar effect on behaviour, yet alterthe expression of genes relevant to neurological development differently.


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Keywords:persistent organic pollutants; PFOS; zebrafish larvae; behavioural; neurotoxicity