Mechanism of action and neurotoxic effects of chronic exposure to bisphenol F in adult zebrafish

Seong Soon Kim, Jiwon L. Kim, Kyu Seok Hwang, Hae Chul Park, Myung Ae Bae, Ki Tae Kim, Sung Hee Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Although bisphenol F (BPF), the main replacement for bisphenol A, has been commonly used in polycarbonate production, its neurotoxicity and the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, this study aimed to assess the neurotoxicity caused by chronic exposure to BPF and to identify its underlying mechanisms. We exposed adult zebrafish chronically to BPF at environmentally relevant concentrations (0.001, 0.01, and 0.1 mg/L) for 4 weeks. The results revealed that with BPF crossing the blood–brain barrier and bioaccumulating in brain tissues, chronic exposure to BPF resulted in anxiety-like behaviors and disruptions in learning and memory function in adult zebrafish. Furthermore, BPF toxicity in the zebrafish brain involved the dysregulation of metabolic pathways for choline and kynurenine in neurotransmitter systems and for 17β-estradiol, cortisol, pregnenolone-sulfate, and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)-sulfate in neurosteroid systems. RNA-seq analysis revealed that BPF exposure affected metabolic pathways, calcium signaling pathways, neuroactive ligand–receptor interactions, tight junctions, gap junctions, and the gonadotropin-releasing hormone signaling pathway. Our results indicate that chronic exposure to BPF alters the neurochemical profile of the brain and causes neurobehavioral effects, such as anxiety and cognitive decline. Overall, the multimodal approach, including behavioral and neurochemical profiling technologies, has great potential for the comprehensive assessment of potential risks posed by environmental pollutants to human and ecosystem health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158258
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 10


  • Bisphenol F
  • Neurobehavior
  • Neurochemicals
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Transcriptomics
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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