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Research article2013Peer reviewed

Locomotor behavior in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae exposed to perfluoroalkyl acids

Ulhaq, Mazhar; Örn, Stefan; Carlsson, Gunnar; Morrison, David; Norrgren, Leif


Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent organic contaminants that have been detected in wildlife, humans and the environment. Studies have shown that the toxicity of PFAAs is determined by the carbon chain length as well as the attached functional group. The locomotor activity of zebrafish larvae has become widely used for evaluation of chemicals with neurotoxic properties. In the present study the behavioral effects of seven structurally different PFAAs (i.e. TFAA, PFBA, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFBS and PFOS) were evaluated in zebrafish larvae. Exposure to high concentrations of TFAA, PFNA, PFBS and PFOS resulted in distinct changes in behavioral patterns. Based on redundancy analysis, our results demonstrate three main factors affecting zebrafish larval locomotor behavior. The strongest effect on behavior was determined by the carbon chain length and the attached functional group. PFAAs with longer carbon chain length as well as PFAAs with attached sulfonic groups showed larger potential to affect locomotor behavior in zebrafish larvae. Also the concentration of the PFAAs determined the behavior responses. The results of the present study are in agreement with previous studies showing correlations between the chemical structure of PFAAs and the toxicological effects. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Zebrafish; Larvae; Behavior; Perfluoralkyl acid; Locomotor activity

Published in

Aquatic Toxicology
2013, Volume: 144, pages: 332-340