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Toxics 2014, 2(2), 165-187;

Delayed Behavioral Effects of Early Life Toxicant Exposures in Aquatic Biota

Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Received: 24 February 2014 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Neurotoxicology)
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Behavioral development occurs together with the development of the nervous system. Studies on mammals indicate that exposures to some chemicals during embryonic development at concentrations that do not produce anatomical malformations may nevertheless produce behavioral deficits later in life, an example of delayed effects. There have been reports of delayed effects in aquatic organisms. Delayed behavioral effects of mercury, chlorinated and other pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and some synthetic hormones in the environment have been reported in fishes and invertebrates; in some cases behavioral effects are manifested years after the exposure. Another type of delayed behavioral effect results from exposure of mature females before fertilization (maternal exposure). Even when embryos and larvae are reared in clean water, offspring may manifest abnormal behaviors following maternal exposure. The reported behavioral changes are generally deleterious and compromise the fitness of the animal in its natural environment. Delayed effects and their impacts on fitness are not considered in standard short-term embryo bioassays, which will therefore underestimate neurotoxicity. The literature in the field is scattered and has not been reviewed. The objective of this paper is to review and synthesize what is known about delayed behavioral effects in aquatic biota. View Full-Text
Keywords: embryo; larva; behavior; delayed effect; fish; crustacean embryo; larva; behavior; delayed effect; fish; crustacean

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Weis, J.S. Delayed Behavioral Effects of Early Life Toxicant Exposures in Aquatic Biota. Toxics 2014, 2, 165-187.

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