Dietary administration of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus modulates the neurological toxicities of perfluorobutanesulfonate in zebrafish

Mengyuan Liu, Shiwen Song, Chenyan Hu, Lizhu Tang, James C.W. Lam, Paul K.S. Lam, Lianguo Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), an aquatic pollutant of emerging concern, is found to disturb the neural signaling along gut-brain axis, whereas probiotic additives have been applied to improve neuroendocrine function of teleosts. Both PFBS and probiotics can commonly target nervous system. However, whether and how probiotic bacteria can modulate the neurotoxicities of PFBS remain not explored. It is thus necessary to elucidate the probiotic modulation of PFBS neurotoxicity, which can provide implications to the application of probiotic bacteria in aquaculture industry. In the present study, adult zebrafish were exposed to 0, 10 and 100 μg/L PFBS with or without dietary administration of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Interaction between PFBS and probiotic along gut-brain axis was examined, covering three dominant pathways (i.e., neurotransmission, immune response and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis). The results showed that, compared to the single effects, PFBS and probiotic coexposure significantly altered the acetylcholinesterase activity and neurotransmitter profiles in gut and brain of zebrafish, with mild effects on neuronal integrity. Neurotransmitters closely correlated reciprocally in intestines, which, however, was distinct from the correlation profile in brains. In addition, PFBS and probiotic were combined to impact brain health through absorption of bacterial lipopolysaccharides and production of inflammatory cytokines. Relative to neurotransmission and immune signaling, HPA axis was not involved in the neurotoxicological interaction between PFBS and probiotic. Furthermore, it needs to point out that interactive modes between PFBS and probiotic varied a lot, depending on exposure concentrations, sex and toxic indices. Overall, the present study provided the first evidence that probiotic supplement could dynamically modulate the neurotoxicities of PFBS in teleost.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114832
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Gut-brain axis
  • Immune system
  • Neurotoxicity
  • PFBS
  • Probiotic
  • Zebrafish


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary administration of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus modulates the neurological toxicities of perfluorobutanesulfonate in zebrafish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this