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Di-butyl phthalate (DBP) induces defects during embryonic eye development in zebrafish

Abstract

Di-butyl phthalate (DBP) is a phthalate ester (PAEs) added during the manufacturing of plastics to make them stronger, yet more pliable. DBP is noncovalently bound to plastics resulting in leaching into the environment. Concerning concentrations of DBP have been noted in surface and groundwater, aquatic ecosystems, soil and atmospheric environments globally. Global production of phthalates and thus concomitant exposure has increased over the years making studies on the ecological and environmental safety needed. Most of the literature on DBP focuses on the endocrine disrupting properties of phthalate esters, but the developmental toxicity of DBP is an understudied area. Here, we treat gastrula staged zebrafish embryos with environmentally relevant concentrations of DBP (2.5 µM). We find defects in eye development at 96 h post fertilization including a decrease in the size of the lens and retina in DBP-treated embryos. Defects in eye vascularization as well as loss of the optic nerve and optic tectum were also noted. Here we conclude that exposure to environmentally relevant doses of DBP during early embryonic development is toxic to eye development.

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Acknowledgements

The Lawson Lab (University of Massachusetts Medical Center) kindly provided the Tg(fli1:EGFP) transgenic line. The Tg(pou4f3:GAP-GFP)^s356tTg transgenic line was purchased through Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC), University of Oregon.

Funding

This research was supported by Sacred Heart University.

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Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed Sophie Barbagallo, Cassidy Baldauf, Emily Orosco and Nicole M. Roy. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Nicole M. Roy and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nicole M. Roy.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. The treatments and protocols were approved by the Sacred Heart University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee as meeting ethical standard for scientific research.

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Barbagallo, S., Baldauf, C., Orosco, E. et al. Di-butyl phthalate (DBP) induces defects during embryonic eye development in zebrafish. Ecotoxicology 31, 178–185 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-021-02468-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-021-02468-5

Keywords

  • Zebrafish
  • Toxicity
  • Di-n-butyl phthalate
  • Eye development