Behaviour 2019
Maternal Exposure to Dietary Selenium Causes Social Learning Impairment in Zebrafish Offspring
Anoosha Attaran, Huzaifa Saeed, Arash Salahinejad, Som Niyogi, Douglas Chivers. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Maternal exposure to environmental pollutants is one of the predisposing factors for neurodevelopmental disorders with associated cognitive and social deficits in offspring. Selenium (Se) is a metalloid of potential concern in aquatic ecosystems from both toxicological and nutritional perspectives, with a narrow range of essentiality. In this study, female zebrafish were exposed to different concentrations of dietary Se (3.6, 12,8, 34.1 µg Se/g dw) for 90 days. Then, they were paired with untreated male zebrafish for breeding. Offspring were then raised up to the age of six months, and social learning tests were carried out at that point. Individuals from different treatment groups were first trained to follow the demonstrator fish escaping from a novel artificial predator. Subsequently, these fish were tested for their ability to learn this escape response from training and maintain the demonstrated escape route and response in the absence of the demonstrators. Our results indicated that F1-zebrafish, which were maternally exposed to 12.8 and 34.1 µg Se/g, displayed significantly slower escape responses compared to the control fish as well as fish exposed to 3.6 µg Se/g.