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Effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate on growth and transcription of genes involved in the GH/IGF and HPT axes in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Zeng, Xinyue, Sun, Hong, Huang, Yangyang, Liu, Jue, Yu, Liqin, Liu, Chunsheng, Wang, Jianghua
Chemosphere 2018 v.212 pp. 376-384
Danio rerio, animal growth, bioaccumulation, body length, females, fish, flame retardants, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, growth retardation, males, messenger RNA, organophosphorus compounds, phosphates, somatomedins, thyrotropin, thyroxine, toxicity, transcription (genetics)
Tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP), as one of the most widely used organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs), is applied in nearly all manufactured items and materials. It has been reported that TBOEP could cause developmental impairments and disrupt the endocrine regulation of fish growth during acute toxic experiments. However, concentrations to which fish were exposed in these studies were greater than environmentally relevant concentrations ever reported. This study examined effects on growth associated with exposure of zebrafish to 0, 0.1, 1 and 10 μg/L TBOEP during 20–90 days post fertilization (dpf). The changes in growth indicators and bioaccumulation of TBOEP were examined along with the transcription of related genes in the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (GH/IGF) axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. The average body contents of TBOEP were higher in females than in males in all the exposure groups. Exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of TBOEP significantly decreased body length and body mass and down-regulated expression of several genes involved in the GH/IGF and HPT axes. Exposure to TBOEP decreased plasma thyroxine (T4) content accompanied by decreased mRNA level of thyrotropin β-subunit (tshβ) in females at 60 dpf, but no effects were observed at 90 dpf. These results suggested that bioaccumulation of TBOEP and down-regulation of genes involved in the GH/IGF axis might be responsible for the observed growth inhibition in zebrafish exposed to TBOEP.