Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is one of the most widely used insecticides and has been found in both urban and rural water bodies. In this study, we studied variations in the social behavioral patterns, swimming behavior, and brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of Japanese medaka exposed to lethal (0.12 mg/L) and sublethal (0.012 mg/L) concentrations of CPF after different exposure times. Group behavior performance (schooling, shoaling, and solitary) was determined on day 4 of lethal exposure and on days 4, 8, and 12 of sublethal exposure. Swimming speed and brain AChE activity were measured on days 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 of sublethal CPF exposure. We observed significant decreases in social behavior and swimming speed (i.e., hypoactivity) in fish exposed to lethal CPF concentrations for 4 days. At the sublethal concentration, there was increased schooling duration and hyperactivity of fish on day 8 but not on day 4. In contrast, 12 days of sublethal CPF exposure resulted in social behavior responses similar to those after 4 days’ lethal exposure, i.e., significant decreases in schooling frequency and duration with a notable increase in duration of solitary behavior. Brain AChE activity was inhibited in a time-dependent manner. Altered fish behavior in response to organophosphorus pesticides such as CPF may be mediated by more than AChE inhibition alone.
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