Behavioral, morphometric, and gene expression effects in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryonically exposed to PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA

Research paper by Carrie E. Jantzen, Kate M. Annunziato; Keith R. Cooper

Indexed on: 06 Oct '16Published on: 21 Sep '16Published in: Aquatic Toxicology


Publication date: Available online 20 September 2016 Source:Aquatic Toxicology Author(s): Carrie E. Jantzen, Kate M. Annunziato, Keith R. Cooper Perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) are a class of persistent anthropogenic chemicals that have been detected worldwide. PFASs consist of fluorinated carbon chains of varying length, terminal groups, and have a number of industrial uses. A previous zebrafish study from our laboratory showed that acute (3- 120hours post fertilization, 0.02–2.0μM), waterborne embryonic exposure to these chemicals resulted in chemical specific alterations at 5days post fertilization (dpf), and some effects persisted up to 14 dpf. Using a gene battery consisting of 100 transcripts identified several genes that were up or down regulated. This current study looks at the long-term impacts of PFASs in adult zebrafish using the same exposure regimen. It was hypothesized that sub-lethal exposure of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOA) in embryonic zebrafish (3-120 hpf) would result in permanent morphometric, gene expression, and behavioral changes in adult fish similar to those observed at 5 and 14 dpf. Zebrafish were exposed to PFOS, PFOA, and PFNA (Control 0μM, 2.0μM) for the first five days post fertilization. At six months post fertilization, no PFAS treatment resulted in a significant change in total body length or weight. In terms of behavior, PFNA males showed a reduction in total distance traveled and time of immobility, and an increase in thigmotaxis behavior, aggressive attacks, and preference for the bright section of the tank. PFOS treated males had a reduced aggression behavior, and PFOA females preferred the dark section of the tank. Gene expression of slco2b1, slco1d1, and tgfb1a were analyzed because these transcripts were previously found to be affected by PFAS exposure in 5dpf and 14 dpf zebrafish and resulted in: significant decrease in expression of slco2b1 for both sexes in PFNA and PFOS treated groups, significant decrease of slco1d1 in all treatment groups for females and PFOS and PFOA exposed males, significant increase of tgfb1a in males treated with PFOS and PFNA, and a significant increase of bdnf in all PFAS male groups. This study demonstrates that acute, embryonic exposure (5 days) to individual PFASs result in significant biochemical and behavioral changes in young adult zebrafish 6 months after exposure. These three PFASs have long term and persistent impacts following short term embryonic exposure that persists into adulthood.