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Accession IconSRP106772

Early life exposure to low levels of AHR agonist 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126) reprograms gene expression in adult brain.

Organism Icon Danio rerio
Sample Icon 24 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2500

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There is growing evidence from epidemiological and experimental studies suggesting that early life exposure to environmental chemicals can have long-term consequences that are seen in adults and not apparent early in life. We recently demonstrated that developmental exposure of zebrafish embryos to low, non-embryotoxic levels of PCB126 did not affect larval behavior but caused changes in adult behavior (Glazer et al., 2016, NeuroToxicology 52:134-143). Zebrafish embryos were exposed to either vehicle (DMSO) or low concentrations of PCB126 (0.3, 0.6, 1.2 nM) for 20 h (4–24 h post fertilization), and then reared to adulthood in clean water. Locomotor activity of the larvae at 7 and 14 days post fertilization (dpf) was not affected by PCB126. In contrast, adult fish (4 months old) tested in novel tank and shoaling assays showed impaired habituation to a novel environment. In order to investigate the underlying molecular basis of these phenotypes, we determined the transcriptional profiles in whole embryos (48 hpf), larvae (5 dpf) and adult brain (4 mo) using strand-specific RNA-sequencing. Our results show that 0.3 nM PCB126 exposure induced cyp1a transcript levels 12.5-fold in 48-hpf embryos but there was no induction in 5-dpf larvae, suggesting transient activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor during early development. No significant induction of cyp1a was observed in the brains of adults exposed as embryos to PCB126. However, we observed significant changes in gene expression profiles in the adult brain samples. A total of 2209 and 1628 genes were differentially expressed in 0.3 nM and 1.2 nM PCB126-exposed groups, respectively. KEGG pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes in the brain suggest enrichment of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, neurodegenerative diseases, circadian rhythm and calcium signaling pathways. We are currently investigating the role of these genes in altered behavior observed in the adults. Overall, our results suggest that PCB exposure during sensitive periods of early development alters normal development of the brain by reprogramming gene expression patterns. [Funded by NIH P01ES021923 and NSF OCE-1314642]. Overall design: A total of 24 samples were sequenced. It includes 3 different time points and 2 or 3 different treatments. Each treatment had 3 biological replicates.
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