PFOS, PFNA, and PFOA Sub-Lethal Exposure to Embryonic Zebrafish Have Different Toxicity Profiles in Terms of Morphometrics, Behavior and Gene Expression

Research paper by Carrie E. Jantzen, Kate A. Annunziato, Sean M. Bugel, Keith R. Cooper

Indexed on: 06 Apr '16Published on: 31 Mar '16Published in: Aquatic Toxicology


Polyfluorinated compounds (PFC) are a class of anthropogenic, persistent and toxic chemicals. PFCs are detected worldwide and consist of fluorinated carbon chains of varying length, terminal groups, and industrial uses. Previous zebrafish studies in the literature as well as our own studies have shown that exposure to these chemicals at a low range of concentrations (0.02 μM − 2.0 μM; 20-2000 ppb) resulted in chemical specific developmental defects and reduced post hatch survival. It was hypothesized that sub-lethal embryonic exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) would result in different responses with regard to morphometric, behavior, and gene expression in both yolk sac fry and larval zebrafish. Zebrafish were exposed to PFOS, PFOA, and PFNA (0.02, 0.2, 2.0 μM) for the first five days post fertilization (dpf) and analyzed for morphometrics (5 dpf, 14 dpf), targeted gene expression (5 dpf, 14 dpf), and locomotive behavior (14 dpf). All three PFCs commonly resulted in a decrease in total body length, increased tfc3a (muscle development) expression and decreased ap1s (protein transport) expression at 5dpf, and hyperactive locomotor activity 14 dpf. All other endpoints measured at both life-stage time points varied between each of the PFCs. PFOS, PFNA, and PFOA exposure resulted in significantly altered responses in terms of morphometric, locomotion, and gene expression endpoints, which could be manifested in field exposed teleosts.

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