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Diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) volatizes and cross-contaminates wells in a common 96-well plate format used in zebrafish larvae toxicology studies.


Diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) is an organophosphate (OP) that is commonly used as a surrogate of OP nerve agents to study the neurotoxic effects of acute OP intoxication. In preliminary studies, we discovered abnormally high incidence of deaths in DMSO control zebrafish larvae housed in the same 96-well plate as DFP-exposed larvae and hypothesized that DFP volatilizes and cross-contaminates wells when using static waterborne exposures. Survivability and acetylcholinesterase activity assays were indicative of the presence of DFP in the tissues of zebrafish ostensibly exposed to DMSO only. These findings are consistent with DFP cross-contamination, which raises concerns for the experimental design of studies evaluating the toxicity of volatile and semi-volatile substances in zebrafish using medium-to-high throughput approaches.

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