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Alfonso, S., Blanc, M., Joassard, L., Keiter, S. H., Munschy, C., Loizeau, V., et al. (2019). Examining multi- and transgenerational behavioral and molecular alterations resulting from parental exposure to an environmental PCB and PBDE mixture. Aquat. Toxicol., 208, 29–38.
Résumé: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent organic pollutants extensively used during the 20th century and still present in aquatic environments despite their ban. Effects of exposure to these compounds over generations are poorly documented. Therefore, our aims were to characterize behavioral responses and underlying molecular mechanisms in zebrafish exposed to an environmentally relevant mixture of PCBs and PBDEs as well as in four unexposed offspring generations. Zebrafish (F0) were chronically exposed from the first meal onward to a diet spiked with a mixture containing 22 PCB and 7 PBDE congeners in proportions and concentrations reflecting environmental situations (Sigma PCBs = 1991 and Sigma PBDEs = 411 ng/g). Four offspring generations (F1 to F4) were obtained from this F0 and were not further exposed. Behavior was assessed at both larval and adult stages. Mechanisms related to behavioral defects (habenula maturation and c-fos transcription) and methylation (dnmts transcription) were monitored in larvae. Exposed adult F0 as well as F1 and F3 adults displayed no behavioral change while F2 expressed anxiety-like behavior. Larval behavior was also disrupted, Le. hyperactive after light to dark transition in F1 or hypoactive in F2, F3 and F4. Behavioral disruptions may be related to defect in habenula maturation (observed in F1) and change in c-fos transcription (observed in F1 and F2). Transcription of the gene encoding DNA methyltransferase (dnmt3ba) was also modified in all generations. Our results lead us to hypothesize that chronic dietary exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of PCB and PBDE triggers multigenerational and transgenerational molecular and behavioral disruptions in a vertebrate model.