Developmental timing of perchlorate exposure alters threespine stickleback dermal bone

Christoff G. Furin, Frank A. von Hippel, John Postlethwait, C. Loren Buck, William A. Cresko, Todd M. O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Adequate levels of thyroid hormone are critical during development and metamorphosis, and for maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Perchlorate, a common contaminant of water sources, inhibits thyroid function in vertebrates. We utilized threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to determine if timing of perchlorate exposure during development impacts adult dermal skeletal phenotypes. Fish were exposed to water contaminated with perchlorate (30mg/L or 100mg/L) beginning at 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, 42, 154 or 305. days post fertilization until sexual maturity at 1. year of age. A reciprocal treatment moved stickleback from contaminated to clean water on the same schedule providing for different stages of initial exposure and different treatment durations. Perchlorate exposure caused concentration-dependent significant differences in growth for some bony traits. Continuous exposure initiated within the first 21. days post fertilization had the greatest effects on skeletal traits. Exposure to perchlorate at this early stage can result in small traits or abnormal skeletal morphology of adult fish which could affect predator avoidance and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrine disruption
  • Gasterosteus aculeatus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Skeletal abnormality
  • Thyroid hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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