2021 journal article

FireMaster (R) 550 (FM 550) exposure during the perinatal period impacts partner preference behavior and nucleus accumbens core medium spiny neuron electrophysiology in adult male and female prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster


author keywords: Vole; Electrophysiology; Nucleus accumbens; Flame  retardants; Endocrine disruptors; Neurodevelopment; Endocrine disrupting chemical
Source: Web Of Science
Added: September 7, 2021

One of the most widely used flame retardant (FR) mixtures in household products is Firemaster 550 (FM 550). FM 550 leaches from items such as foam-based furniture and infant products, resulting in contamination of the household environment and biota. Previous studies indicate sex-specific behavioral deficits in rodents and zebrafish in response to developmental FM 550 exposure. These deficits include impacts on social and attachment behaviors in a prosocial rodent: the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The prairie vole is a laboratory-acclimated rodent that exhibits spontaneous attachment behaviors including pair bonding. Here we extend previous work by addressing how developmental exposure to FM 550 impacts pair bonding strength via an extended-time partner preference test, as well as neuron electrophysiological properties in a region implicated in pair bond behavior, the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) core. Dams were exposed to vehicle or 1000 μg of FM 550 via subcutaneous injections throughout gestation, and female and male pups were directly exposed beginning the day after birth until weaning. Pair bond behavior of adult female and male offspring was assessed using a three hour-long partner preference test. Afterwards, acute brain slices of the NAcc core were produced and medium spiny neuron electrophysiological attributes recorded via whole cell patch-clamp. Behavioral impacts were sex-specific. Partner preference behavior was increased in exposed females but decreased in exposed males. Electrophysiological impacts were similar between sexes and specific to attributes related to input resistance. Input resistance was decreased in neurons recorded from both sexes exposed to FM 550 compared to vehicle. This study supports the hypothesis that developmental exposure to FM 550 impacts attachment behaviors and demonstrates a novel FM 550 effect on neural electrophysiology.