Thyroid endocrine disruption and external body morphology of Zebrafish

General and Comparative Endocrinology
By: , and 



This study examined the effects thyroid-active compounds during early development on body morphology of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). Three-day postfertilization (dpf) larvae were exposed to goitrogen [methimazole (MZ, 0.15 mM)], combination of MZ (0.15 mM) and thyroxine (T4, 2 nM), T4 (2 nM), or control (reconstituted water) treatments until 33 dpf and subsequently maintained in reconstituted water until 45 dpf. Samples were taken at 33 and 45 dpf for multivariate analysis of geometric distances between selected homologous landmarks placed on digital images of fish, and for histological assessment of thyrocytes. Body mass, standard length, and pectoral fin length were separately measured on remaining fish at 45 dpf. Histological analysis confirmed the hypothyroid effect (increased thyrocyte height) of MZ and rescue effect of T4 co-administration. Geometric distance analysis showed that pectoral and pelvic fins shifted backward along the rostrocaudal axis under hypothyroid conditions at 45 dpf and that T4 co-treatment prevented this shift. Pectoral fin length at 45 dpf was reduced by exposure to MZ and rescued by co-administration of T4, but it was not associated with standard length. Methimazole caused a reduction in body mass and length at 45 dpf that could not be rescued by T4 co-administration, and non-thyroidal effects of MZ on body shape were also recognized at 33 and 45 dpf. Alterations in the length and position of paired fins caused by exposure to thyroid-disrupting chemicals during early development, as shown here for Zebrafish, could affect physical aspects of locomotion and consequently other important organismal functions such as foraging, predator avoidance, and ultimately survival and recruitment into the adult population. Results of this study also suggest the need to include rescue treatments in endocrine disruption studies that rely on goitrogens as reference for thyroid-mediated effects.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Thyroid endocrine disruption and external body morphology of Zebrafish
Series title General and Comparative Endocrinology
DOI 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.12.023
Volume 226
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 42
Last page 49
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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