PT03 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
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(PT013) Developmental and Behavioral Effects of Embryonic Exposure to DE-71 in Fundulus heteroclitus.

Timme-Laragy, A1, Di Giulio, R1, 1 Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

ABSTRACT- While most organohalogens are currently decreasing in environmental concentrations, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) levels are rapidly increasing. PBDEs are added to electronics, plastics, textiles, and foam cushioning to reduce the likelihood and severity of fires. However, these chemicals have been shown to be highly persistent and mobile in the environment. Much remains to be learned about the toxicity PBDEs and their metabolites. Several animal studies indicate that PeBDEs, a class of penta PBDE congeners, may pose a developmental hazard, with the most sensitive endpoints being thyroid hormone disruption, neurodevelopmental deficits, and neurobehavioral toxicity. While several studies have documented the presence of PeBDEs in fish, very few fish developmental toxicity studies have been published. The goals of this preliminary investigation were to explore various dose ranges and embryonic exposure regimes, characterize the effects on development in an environmentally relevant fish model, and test for latent behavioral effects. Fundulus heteroclitus embryos were exposed from day 0-7 to the industrial PeBDE mixture, DE-71, with doses ranging between 0.01 and 100 g/L. Embryos were assayed for CYP1A (EROD), deformities, and hatching. Embryos grown out to larvae were assayed for predation ability (days 3,8, and 14 post hatch) and activity level (4 days post hatch). Juvenile fish were assayed for learning ability in a 3-chambered fish maze. No induction of embryonic EROD activity were observed for any of the concentrations tested. A subtle developmental abnormality with respect to tail curvature direction was observed at 10 and 100 g/L, and a hatching delay of up to 4.5 days was noted. Behavioral test trends suggest that embryonic exposure to DE-71 may alter activity level, predation rates, and learning ability in subsequent life stages.

Key words: development, PBDE, behavior, killifish

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