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Retention and maternal transfer of brominated dioxins in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and effects on reproduction, aryl hydrocarbon receptor-regulated genes, and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity
Institutionen för biomedicin och veterinär folkhälsovetenskap, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. (Environmental analytical chemistry using hyphenated and bioanalytical techniques)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. (Environmental analytical chemistry using hyphenated and bioanalytical techniques)
Institutionen för biomedicin och veterinär folkhälsovetenskap; Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet.
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2011 (English)In: Aquatic Toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X, E-ISSN 1879-1514, Vol. 102, no 3-4, 150-161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brominated dioxins have recently been detected in Baltic Sea biota. Due to their similarities to the highly toxic chlorinated dioxins, concern has been raised about their potential biological effects. The present study investigated retention and effects of brominated dioxins in adult zebrafish, as well as maternal transfer and effects on offspring. We exposed adult zebrafish for nine weeks via feed to 2,3,7,8-tetrabromodibenzo-p-dioxin (TBDD) or to a mixture of brominated dioxins (Baltic Sea mixture), which was designed to reflect relative concentrations found in Baltic Sea biota. We studied spawning success, gonad morphology, hepatic vitellogenin gene expression, and offspring early life-stage development to investigate effects on zebrafish reproduction. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity and hepatic expression of a number of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)-regulated genes were studied to investigate if the brominated dioxins can activate gene transcription through the AHR pathway in zebrafish. In addition, glutathione reductase activity and expression of genes involved in adaptive responses to intracellular stress were studied to investigate potential stress effects of brominated dioxins. After nine weeks of exposure, all brominated dioxins spiked to the feed were detected in female fish and transferred to eggs. Exposure to the Baltic Sea mixture and TBDD clearly induced AHR-regulated genes and EROD activity. Exposure to TBDD reduced spawning success, altered ovarian morphology and reduced hepatic vitellogenin gene expression, which implies that TBDD has a similar effect pattern as the chlorinated analogue. Overall, our results show that dietary exposure to sublethal concentrations of brominated dioxins may impair reproductive physiology in fish and induce AHR-regulated genes. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 102, no 3-4, 150-161 p.
Keyword [en]
zebrafish, polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dietary exposure, maternal transfer, CYP1A1 induction, reproduction
National Category
Other Veterinary Science
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50885DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2011.01.008ISI: 000289399400004OAI: diva2:470486
Available from: 2011-12-29 Created: 2011-12-29 Last updated: 2012-01-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins: Natural formation mechanisms and biota retention, maternal transfer, and effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins: Natural formation mechanisms and biota retention, maternal transfer, and effects
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PBDD) and dibenzofurans (PBDF) are a group of compounds of emerging interest as potential environmental stressors. Their structures as well as toxic responses are similar to the highly characterized toxicants polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins. High levels of PBDDs have been found in algae, shellfish, and fish, also from remote areas in theBaltic Sea. This thesis presents studies on PBDD behavior in fish and offspring, and natural formation of PBDDs from naturally abundant phenolic precursors.

The uptake, elimination, and maternal transfer of mono- to tetraBDD/Fs were investigated in an exposure study reported in Paper I. The effects of PBDDs in fish were examined in a dose-response study (Paper II). It was shown that fish can assimilate PBDD/Fs from their feed, although non-laterally substituted congeners were rapidly eliminated. Laterally substituted congeners were retained as was congeners without vicinal hydrogens to some extent. PBDD/Fs were transferred to eggs, and congeners that were rapidly eliminated in fish showed a higher transfer ratio to eggs. Exposure to the laterally substituted 2,3,7,8-TeBDD had significant effects on the health, gene expression and several reproduction end-points of zebrafish, even at the lowest dose applied.

The geographical and temporal variations of PBDD in biota samples from the Baltic Seasuggest biogenic rather than anthropogenic origin. In Paper III, bromoperoxidase-mediated coupling of 2,4,6-tribromophenol yielded several PBDD congeners, some formed after rearrangement. The overall yield was low, but significantly higher at low temperature, and the product profile obtained was similar to congener profiles found in biota from the Swedish West Coast. In Paper IV, photo­chemi­cally induced cyclization of hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers under natural conditions produced PBDDs at percentage yield. Rearranged products were not detected, and some abundant congeners do not seem to be formed this way. However, the product profile obtained was similar to congener profiles found in biota from the Baltic Proper.

Since the PBDD congeners found in biota have a high turn-over in fish, the exposure must be high and continuous to yield the PBDD levels measured in wild fish. Thus, PBDDs must presumably be formed by common precursors in general processes, such as via enzymatic oxidations, UV-initiated reactions or a combination of both. The presented pathways for formation of PBDDs are both likely sensitive to changes in climatic conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2012. 65 p.
polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins, PBDDs, Baltic Sea, uptake, retention, maternal transfer, metabolism, bioavailability, natural formation, precursor, bromoperoxidase, bromophenol, photochemical transformation, oxidative coupling, hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Research subject
Analytical Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50887 (URN)
Public defence
2012-02-03, KBC-huset, Hörsal KB3B1, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-01-13 Created: 2011-12-29 Last updated: 2012-09-19Bibliographically approved

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