Although most exposures to chlorpyrifos (CPF) in natural flowing waters are brief and episodic, there have been a few reports of the persistence of abnormal fish behaviors caused by such acute exposure. The present study focused on the behavioral and biochemical responses of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) to acute, sublethal exposure to CPF, as well as the persistence of the effects during a 3-week recovery test in CPF-free water. The medaka became hyperactive and exhibited an elevated anxiety state after a 4-day exposure to 0.024 mg/L of CPF, but they recovered from these abnormal behavioral responses within 7 days of recovery treatment. In contrast, persistent impacts on some startle responses to a sudden stimulation (induced by a ball drop) were observed in medaka exposed to CPF. The reaction latency did not change immediately after the 4-day exposure, but was significantly prolonged by as much as 21 days after the termination of exposure. The post-stimulus swimming distance within 5 s significantly decreased on the day immediately after the 4-day exposure, but it significantly increased after 7 days of recovery treatment. The activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the brains of medaka was significantly inhibited on the day immediately after the 4-day exposure, but it returned to 80% and 110% of that in control fish on days 7 and 21 of the recovery period, respectively. However, AChE activities in the eyes of exposed medaka were persistently inhibited and declined to 33%, 71%, and 72% of that in control fish on days 0 (immediately after the 4-day exposure), 7, and 21 of recovery, respectively. Correlation analysis suggested that the changes of AChE activities in the brains of medaka may underlie some of the observed acute behavioral changes, and the changes of AChE activities in the eyes may contribute to the persistence of the abnormalities in the reaction latency of the startle response. Our findings suggest that medaka need a long time to recover from acute, sublethal exposure to CPF, and the persistence of the behavioral abnormalities might affect their fitness in natural habitats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis