Synthetic organic chemicals (flame retardants and pesticides) with neurotoxic potential induced behavioral impairment on zebrafish (Danio rerio): a non-invasive approach for neurotoxicology


Behavior responses of organisms can be used as a non-invasive method for neurotoxicology studies since it directly links the nervous system’s functioning and biochemical activities. Among different behavioral activities, aquatic organisms’ swimming behavior (fitness) is the essential factor for health assessment; thus, it is practiced routinely in neurotoxicological studies. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are excellent models for neurotoxicology studies. Based on the above information, we hypothesized that zebrafish’s swimming behavior is a potential biomarker for neurotoxic effect assessment. We exposed zebrafish (length, 3-4 cm; weight, 0.2-0.3 g) to different synthetic organic chemicals (organophosphorus flame retardants (tri-cresyl phosphate and cresyl diphenyl phosphate) and neurotoxic pesticides (cypermethrin and methomyl) for 15 days. For each test chemical, we chose two different concentrations (Treatment-I 5 μL/L and Treatment-II 25 μL/L) to study their eco-toxicity. The swimming strength of zebrafish was quantified using an online monitoring system. The swimming strength of zebrafish decreased under different treatments (Treatment-I (5 μL/L) and -II (25 μL/L)) of target chemicals. The circadian rhythm of zebrafish was predominantly not affected in this study. Higher neurotoxic effect (behavioral impairment) was observed in Treatment-II when compare to Treatment-I of organophosphorus flame retardants and pesticides groups. Responses of zebrafish under organophosphorus flame retardant (tri-cresyl phosphate and cresyl diphenyl phosphate) treatments were identical with pesticide (cypermethrin and methomyl) treatments. Based on the results, we conclude that swimming behavior could be an ideal non-invasive biomarker to assess waterborne contaminants’ neurotoxic effect.

Authors: Zongming Ren, Rama-Krishnan Poopal, Mathan Ramesh
; Full Source: Environmental science and pollution research international 2021 Mar 13. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-13370-2.