Growth curves were used to determine sensitive exposure windows for evaluation of developmental toxicity of chemicals to zebrafish. Dose- and time-dependent effects on body mass, body length and expression of genes involved in the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (GH/IGF) axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis were examined after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP). Based on growth curves, zebrafish grew most rapidly between 60 and 90 days post fertilization (dpf). Exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of TDCIPP significantly decreased body mass and body length and down-regulated expression of several genes involved in the GH/IGF axis of female zebrafish, but no such effects were observed in male zebrafish. Exposure to TDCIPP did not change concentrations of thyroid hormones or expression of genes along the HPT axis in female and male zebrafish. These results suggest that growth stages of zebrafish between 60 and 90 dpf might be most appropriate for evaluation of developmental toxicity of chemicals, and down-regulation of genes involved in the GH/IGF axis, but not the HPT axis, might be responsible for the observed growth inhibition in females exposed to TDCIPP.
Keywords: Developmental toxicity; Growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (GH/IGF) axis; Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis; Organophosphate flame retardant.
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