Hindbrain Defects Induced By Di-butyl Phthalate (DBP) in Developing Zebrafish Embryos

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Di-butyl phthalate (DBP) is a globally used plasticizer found in alarmingly high concentrations in soil and water ecosystems. As phthalates are non-covalently bound to plastic polymers, phthalates easily leach into the aquatic environment. The effects of DBP on aquatic organisms is concerning, most notably, studies have focused on the endocrine-disrupting effects. However, reports on the developmental neurotoxicity of DBP are rare. Using the zebrafish vertebrate model system, we treated pre-gastrulation staged embryos with 2.5 μM DBP, a concentration environmentally noted. We find that general hindbrain structure and rhombomere patterning is disrupted at 72 h post fertilization (hpf). We investigated hindbrain specific neural patterning of cranial motor neurons and find defects in branchiomotor neuron patterning and migration. Furthermore, defects in r4 specific Mauthner neuron development were also noted. Thus, we conclude that DBP exposure during embryonic development induces defects to the hindbrain and concomitantly the neurons that are born and differentiate there.


Evelyn Paquette, Naomi Mumper, Alissa Rodrigues, Morgan Voulo, and Sierrah Rich are undergraduate students in the Biology Department at Sacred Heart University.



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