Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Differences in Reproductive Behavior between Spawning and Non-Spawning Zebrafish Pairs and the Effects of 17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2)
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Assessment of Toxicological Perturbations and Variants of Pancreatic Islet Development in the Zebrafish Model
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Toxics 2016, 4(3), 21;

Evaluation of Common Use Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) Toxicity Using a Zebrafish Embryo Model

Department of Biology, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Department of Environmental Science, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
School of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Tanguay
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish as a Model for Assessing Chemical Toxicity)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2558 KB, uploaded 2 September 2016]   |  


Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are used to reduce the flammability of plastics, textiles, and electronics. BFRs vary in their chemical properties and structures, and it is expected that these differences alter their biological interactions and toxicity. Zebrafish were used as the model organism for assessing the toxicity of nine structurally-diverse BFRs. In addition to monitoring for overt toxicity, the rate of spontaneous movement, and acetylcholinesterase and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities were assessed following exposure. The toxicities of BFRs tested can be ranked by LC50 as tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) < 4,4′-isopropylidenebis[2-(2,6-dibromophenoxyl)ethanol] (TBBPA-OHEE) < Pentabromochlorocyclohexane (PBCH) < 2-ethylhexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) < hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) < hexabromobenzene (HBB) < Tetrabromophthalic anhydride (PHT4). No adverse effect was observed in di(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate (TBPH) or dibromoneopentyl glycol (DBNPG)-treated embryos. The rate of spontaneous movement was decreased in a concentration-dependent manner following exposure to four of the nine compounds. GST activity was elevated following treatment with PBCH, TBBPA, HBCD, and HBB. The results indicate that exposure to several BFRs may activate an antioxidant response and alter behavior during early development. Some of the BFRs, such as TBBPA and TBBPA-OHEE, induced adverse effects at concentrations lower than chemicals that are currently banned. These results suggest that zebrafish are sensitive to exposure to BFRs and can be used as a comparative screening model, as well as to determine alterations in behavior following exposure and probe mechanisms of action. View Full-Text
Keywords: brominated flame retardant; zebrafish; oxidative stress brominated flame retardant; zebrafish; oxidative stress

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Usenko, C.Y.; Abel, E.L.; Hopkins, A.; Martinez, G.; Tijerina, J.; Kudela, M.; Norris, N.; Joudeh, L.; Bruce, E.D. Evaluation of Common Use Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) Toxicity Using a Zebrafish Embryo Model. Toxics 2016, 4, 21.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Toxics EISSN 2305-6304 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top