Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and their oxidative metabolites (hydroxylated PBDEs; OH-BDEs) are known endocrine disrupting contaminants that have been shown to disrupt thyroid hormone regulation both in mammals and in fish. The purpose of this study was to determine the precise organ and tissue locations that express genes critical to thyroid hormone regulation in developing zebrafish (Danio rerio), and to determine the effects of an OH-BDE on their expression. While RT-PCR can provide quantitative data on gene expression, it lacks spatial sensitivity to examine localized gene expression; and, isolation of organs from zebrafish embryos is technically difficult, if not impossible. For this reason, the present study used whole mount in situ hybridization to simultaneously localize and quantify gene expression in vivo. While PBDEs and OH-BDEs have been shown to inhibit the activity and expression of deiodionases, a family of enzymes that regulate thyroid hormone concentrations intracellularly, it is unclear whether or not they can affect regional expression of the different isoforms during early development. In this study we investigated deiodinase 1 (Dio1), deiodinase 2 (Dio2), and deiodinase 3 (Dio3) mRNA expression at the following life stages (2, 8, and 1k-cells; 50%-epiboly, 6 and 18-somites, 22, 24, 48, 72 hpf and/or 10 dpf) in zebrafish and found life stage specific expression of these genes that were highly localized. To demonstrate the use of this technique for investigating potential endocrine disrupting effects, zebrafish embryos were exposed to 1, 10 and 100. nM 6-OH-BDE-47. Significant increases in mean intensity of Dio1 and Dio3 expression in the periventricular zone of brain and pronephric duct, respectively (quantified by measuring intensity of coloration using ImageJ analysis software) were observed, suggesting localized response at the HPT axis with the possibility of impacting neurodevelopment. Our results demonstrate effects of OH-BDEs on thyroid regulating gene expression and provide more insight into potential sites of injury during early life stages.
- Endocrine Disruptors
- Flame Retardants
- Gene Expression
- Whole mount in situ hybridization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis