Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are known as neurotoxic chemicals and possibly alter animal behavior. We previously reported that PCB-exposure induced abnormal schooling behavior in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). This abnormal behavior might be caused by the functional alteration of central or terminal nervous system. To understand the mechanism(s) of behavioral change by PCB-exposure, we analyzed the gene expression profiles in the brain of medaka exposed to 3,3′,4,4′,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126) or a PCB mixture (Kanechlor-400: KC-400) using a cDNA microarray that we constructed. Twelve FLF-II strain medaka (six individuals per treatment) were dietary exposed to PCB126 (0.01 μg/g b.w./day) or KC-400 (1 μg/g b.w./day) for three weeks. For the control, six fish were fed a control diet. After the exposure period, fish were dissected, and the brain samples were collected. The samples from control fish were pooled and used as a common reference in the microarray experiment. Microarray data were normalized by the LOWESS method, and we screened the genes whose expression levels were altered more than 1.5-fold. Gene expression profiling showed 97 down-regulated and 379 up-regulated genes in the brain of medaka exposed to PCB126. KC-400 exposure suppressed 15 genes and induced 266 genes in medaka brain. Among these genes, the expression levels of 7 and 188 genes were commonly down- or up-regulated, respectively in both treatment groups. On the other hand, 31 gene expressions were significantly different between PCB126 and KC-400 treatment groups, and three out of 31 genes were received opposite effects. In addition, the microarray data showed that thyroid hormone-responsive genes were up-regulated by PCB-exposure, which may imply that PCBs or their metabolites mimic thyroid hormone effects in the brain of PCB-exposed medaka.
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