Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely used as flame retardants, which are ubiquitous environmental contaminant found in both abiotic and biotic environmental samples. Deca-BDE (BDE-209) is the principal component, which is currently used worldwide. In this study, the effect of BDE-209 on the mRNA levels of thyroid hormone (TH) related genes and spermatogenesis associated genes were determined from larvae and adult rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) exposed to concentrations 0.01, 0.1, 1, and 10 μg/L for 21 days. The results showed that the type II deiodinase (dio2) and sodium iodide symporter (nis) mRNA levels were significantly up-regulated in the larvae at 10 μg/L treatment. In adult, histopathological observations showed that liver of female fish were degenerated at 10 μg/L treatment, and inhibition of spermatogenesis were observed in testis of male fish. In addition, the thyroid hormone receptor α (trα), dio2, and nis mRNA levels in the liver of male and female fish were significantly up-regulated, whereas dio2 and nis mRNA levels were significantly down-regulated in the brain. These results indicate that exposure to BDE-209 could result in tissue-specific alternations of TH-related genes expression in adults. Moreover, the mRNA levels of the testis-specific apoptosis genes, the spermatogenesis-associated 4 (spata4) and spermatogenesis-associated 17 (spata17), were down-regulated at 10 μg/L treatment in testis of male fish. Our results suggest that BDE-209 may pose threat to normal thyroid and reproductive function in fish. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 1–9, 2014.