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ArticleDevelopmental exposure to non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls promotes sensory deficits and disrupts dopaminergic and GABAergic signaling in zebrafish(Nature Research, 2021-09-24) Brun, Nadja R. ; Panlilio, Jennifer M. ; Zhang, Kun ; Zhao, Yanbin ; Ivashkin, Evgeny ; Stegeman, John J. ; Goldstone, Jared V.The most abundant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners found in the environment and in humans are neurotoxic. This is of particular concern for early life stages because the exposure of the more vulnerable developing nervous system to neurotoxic chemicals can result in neurobehavioral disorders. In this study, we uncover currently unknown links between PCB target mechanisms and neurobehavioral deficits using zebrafish as a vertebrate model. We investigated the effects of the abundant non-dioxin-like (NDL) congener PCB153 on neuronal morphology and synaptic transmission linked to the proper execution of a sensorimotor response. Zebrafish that were exposed during development to concentrations similar to those found in human cord blood and PCB contaminated sites showed a delay in startle response. Morphological and biochemical data demonstrate that even though PCB153-induced swelling of afferent sensory neurons, the disruption of dopaminergic and GABAergic signaling appears to contribute to PCB-induced motor deficits. A similar delay was observed for other NDL congeners but not for the potent dioxin-like congener PCB126. The effects on important and broadly conserved signaling mechanisms in vertebrates suggest that NDL PCBs may contribute to neurodevelopmental abnormalities in humans and increased selection pressures in vertebrate wildlife.