Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are an unenviable part of aerobic life. Their steady-state concentration is a balance between production and elimination providing certain steady-state ROS level. The dynamic equilibrium can be disturbed leading to enhanced ROS level and damage to cellular constituents which is called “oxidative stress”. This review describes the general processes responsible for ROS generation in aquatic animals and critically analyses used markers for identification of oxidative stress. Changes in temperature, oxygen levels and salinity can cause the stress in natural and artificial conditions via induction of disbalance between ROS production and elimination. Human borne pollutants can also enhance ROS level in hydrobionts. The role of transition metal ions, such as copper, chromium, mercury and arsenic, and pesticides, namely insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides along with oil products in induction of oxidative stress is highlighted. Last years the research in biology of free radicals was refocused from only descriptive works to molecular mechanisms with particular interest to ones enhancing tolerance. The function of some transcription regulators (Keap1–Nrf2 and HIF-1α) in coordination of organisms’ response to oxidative stress is discussed. The future directions in the field are related with more accurate description of oxidative stress, the identification of its general characteristics and mechanisms responsible for adaptation to the stress have been also discussed. The last part marks some perspectives in the study of oxidative stress in hydrobionts, which, in addition to classic use, became more and more popular to address general biological questions such as development, aging and pathologies.
The presence of a xenobiotic in the environment can often represent a risk for living organisms. Quaternium-15, a preservative, is one of the most used substances and is added to several cosmetics and other industrial products. For this reason,kwowing the bio-indicator of the marine environment, the toxicological effects potentially elicited by this preservative on the marine invertebrate were studied. The results of this work confirm that quaternium-15, used at 0.1 and 1 mg/l concentrations, while metabolized in causes a decrease in cellular viability, and remarkable changes to the defense and antioxidant system. In fact, haemocyte viability is dramatically reduced, and haemolymphatic parameter measurements indicate a stress on the animal. Moreover, an increase in radical species production, in Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Species (TBARS) concentration, and in the Heat Shock Protein 70 amount, were observed in hepatopancreas. These changes suggest that the antioxidant systems are activated to overwhelm the oxidative damage induced by quaternium-15. Quaternium-15 jeopardizes both the defense and antioxidant systems. These results provide essential information with the biological fate of quaternium-15 in aquatic organisms, and confirm that biomarkers represent an important tool for modern environmental assessments as they can help with the prediction of pollutants involved in the monitoring program.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) may induce deleterious effects in aquatic life on environmental release. The hepatotoxicity of AgNPs was assessed in the liver of adult zebrafish, with the aim of studying the roles of oxidative damage and apoptosis. Zebrafish were exposed to an AgNP solution in which free Ag ions were absent at the time of treatment. However, the metal-sensitive metallothionein 2 (MT2) mRNA was induced in the liver tissues of AgNP-treated zebrafish, suggesting that Ag ions were released from AgNPs after treatment. It is also possible that MT2 mRNA was induced in the liver tissues by AgNP-generated free radicals. A number of cellular alterations including disruption of hepatic cell cords and apoptotic changes were observed in histological analysis of the liver tissues. The levels of malondialdehyde, a byproduct of cellular lipid peroxidation, and total glutathione were increased in the tissues after treatment with AgNPs. The mRNA levels of the oxyradical-scavenging enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase 1a were reduced in the tissues. AgNP treatment induced DNA damage, as demonstrated by analysis with the double-strand break marker γ-H2AX and the expression of p53 protein in liver tissues. In addition, the p53-related pro-apoptotic genes , , and were upregulated after treatment with AgNPs. These data suggest that oxidative stress and apoptosis are associated with AgNP toxicity in the liver of adult zebrafish.
Antidepressants are among the most commonly detected human pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment. Since their mode of action is by modulating the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, aquatic invertebrates who possess transporters and receptors sensitive to activation by these pharmaceuticals are potentially affected by them. We review the various types of antidepressants, their occurrence and concentrations in aquatic environments, and the actions of neurohormones modulated by antidepressants in molluscs and crustaceans. Recent studies on the effects of antidepressants on these two important groups show that molluscan reproductive and locomotory systems are affected by antidepressants at environmentally relevant concentrations. In particular, antidepressants affect spawning and larval release in bivalves and disrupt locomotion and reduce fecundity in snails. In crustaceans, antidepressants affect freshwater amphipod activity patterns, marine amphipod photo- and geotactic behavior, crayfish aggression, and daphnid reproduction and development. We note with interest the occurrence of non-monotonic dose responses curves in many studies on effects of antidepressants on aquatic animals, often with effects at low concentrations, but not at higher concentrations, and we suggest future experiments consider testing a broader range of concentrations. Furthermore, we consider invertebrate immune responses, genomic and transcriptomic sequencing of invertebrate genes, and the ever-present and overwhelming question of how contaminant mixtures could affect the action of neurohormones as topics for future study. In addressing the question, if antidepressants affect aquatic invertebrates at concentrations currently found in the environment, there is strong evidence to suggest the answer is yes. Furthermore, the examples highlighted in this review provide compelling evidence that the effects could be quite multifaceted across a variety of biological systems.
Nano-scale zinc oxide (nano-ZnO) is widely used in various industrial and commercial applications. However, the available toxicological information was inadequate to assess the potential ecological risk of nano-ZnO to aquatic organisms and the publics. In this study, the developmental toxicity, oxidative stress and DNA damage of nano-ZnO embryos were investigated in the embryo-larval zebrafish, the toxicity of Zn releasing from nano-ZnO were also investigated to ascertain the relationship between the nano-ZnO and corresponding Zn . Zebrafish embryos were exposed to 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 mg/L nano-ZnO and 0.59, 2.15, 3.63, 4.07, 5.31, and 6.04 mg/L Zn for 144 h post-fertilisation (hpf), respectively. Up to 144 hpf, activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, the genes related to oxidative damage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and DNA damage in zebrafish embryos were measured. The nano-ZnO was found to exert a dose-dependent toxicity to zebrafish embryos and larvae, reducing the hatching rate and inducing malformation and the acute toxicity to zebrafish embryos was greater than that of the Zn solution. The generation of ROS was significantly increased at 50 and 100 mg/L nano-ZnO. DNA damage of zebrafish embryo was evaluated by single-cell gel electrophoresis and was enhanced with increasing nano-ZnO concentration. Moreover, the transcriptional expression of mitochondrial inner membrane genes related to ROS production, such as Bcl-2, in response to oxidative damage, such as Nqo1, and related to antioxidant response element such as Gstp2 were significantly down-regulated in the nano-ZnO treatment groups. However, the nano-ZnO up-regulated the transcriptional expression of Ucp2-related to ROS production. In conclusion, nano-ZnO induces developmental toxicity, oxidative stress and DNA damage on zebrafish embryos and the dissolved Zn only partially contributed to the toxicity of nano-ZnO. The adverse effects of nano-ZnO may be the important mechanisms of its toxicity to zebrafish embryos.
Low levels of human medicines (pharmaceuticals) have been detected in many countries in sewage treatment plant (STP) effluents, surface waters, seawaters, groundwater and some drinking waters. For some pharmaceuticals effects on aquatic organisms have been investigated in acute toxicity assays. The chronic toxicity and potential subtle effects are only marginally known, however. Here, we critically review the current knowledge about human pharmaceuticals in the environment and address several key questions. What kind of pharmaceuticals and what concentrations occur in the aquatic environment? What is the fate in surface water and in STP? What are the modes of action of these compounds in humans and are there similar targets in lower animals? What acute and chronic ecotoxicological effects may be elicited by pharmaceuticals and by mixtures? What are the effect concentrations and how do they relate to environmental levels? Our review shows that only very little is known about long-term effects of pharmaceuticals to aquatic organisms, in particular with respect to biological targets. For most human medicines analyzed, acute effects to aquatic organisms are unlikely, except for spills. For investigated pharmaceuticals chronic lowest observed effect concentrations (LOEC) in standard laboratory organisms are about two orders of magnitude higher than maximal concentrations in STP effluents. For diclofenac, the LOEC for fish toxicity was in the range of wastewater concentrations, whereas the LOEC of propranolol and fluoxetine for zooplankton and benthic organisms were near to maximal measured STP effluent concentrations. In surface water, concentrations are lower and so are the environmental risks. However, targeted ecotoxicological studies are lacking almost entirely and such investigations are needed focusing on subtle environmental effects. This will allow better and comprehensive risk assessments of pharmaceuticals in the future.
Given the extensive use of nanomaterials, they may enter aquatic environments and harm the growth of algae, which are primary producers in an aquatic ecosystem. Thus, the balance of an aquatic ecosystem may be destroyed. In this study, and were exposed to nano-TiO (anatase, average particle size of 5–10 nm, specific surface area of 210 ± 10 m g ) to assess the effects of nano-TiO on algae. The findings of transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (TEM-EDX) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrate aggregation of nano-TiO in the algal suspension. Nano-TiO was also found to be inside algal cells. The growth of the two species of algae was inhibited under nano-TiO exposure. The 72 h EC values of nano-TiO to and were 10.69 and 7.37 mg L , respectively. TEM showed that the cell membrane of was destroyed and its organelles were almost undistinguished under nano-TiO exposure. The malondialdehyde (MDA) contents of and significantly increased compared with those of the control ( < 0.05). Meanwhile, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activities (CAT) of and changed in different ways. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in both species were significantly higher than those of the control ( < 0.05). The site of ROS production and accumulation in and under nano-TiO exposure was explored with the addition of inhibitors of different electron transfer chains. This study indicated that nano-TiO in algal suspensions inhibited the growth of and . This effect was attributed to oxidative stress caused by ROS production inside algal cells. The levels of anti-oxidative enzymes changed, which destroyed the balance between oxidation and anti-oxidation. Thus, algae were damaged by ROS accumulation, resulting in lipid oxidation and inhibited algae growth. The inhibitors of the electron transfer chain showed that the site of ROS production and accumulation in cells was the chloroplast.
► Six organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) could disrupt sex hormone balances. ► Steroidogenesis and estrogen activity were influenced by OPFRs in H295R cells. ► Estrogen receptor binding was inhibited by TDCPP, TPP and TCP in MVLN cells. ► TDCPP, TPP and TCP could increase E2/11-KT ratio among male zebrafish. Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) are frequently detected in environment and biota. However, knowledge on their potential toxicological effects is limited. Endocrine disrupting potentials of six OPFRs, , tris-(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), tris-(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCPP), tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP), tris-(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP), triphenyl phosphate (TPP), and tricresyl phosphate (TCP), were investigated using human cell lines as well as zebrafish ( ). Sex hormone synthesis and steroidogenic gene transcriptions were measured using H295R cells. With MVLN cells, estrogen receptor binding activities of OPFRs were evaluated. In zebrafish, sex hormones and related gene transcriptions were determined for each sex after 14 d exposure to OPFRs. All six OPFRs increased both 17β-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) concentrations in H295R cells. In addition, transcription of four major steroidogenic genes was up-regulated and that of two sulfotransferase genes was down-regulated. In MVLN cells, no OPFRs acted as estrogen receptor agonists, while TDCPP, TPP, and TCP acted as antagonists inhibiting binding of E2 to estrogen receptor. After 14 d of zebrafish exposure, TCP, TDCPP, or TPP significantly increased plasma T and E2 concentrations, but did not change 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) among female fish. Among males, both T and 11-KT decreased and E2 increased. In general, transcription of and genes was significantly up-regulated in both sexes, while gene was down- and up-regulated in female and male fish, respectively. The results of this study showed that OPFRs could alter sex hormone balance through several mechanisms including alterations of steroidogenesis or estrogen metabolism.
In the recent years, there has been a growing concern about the production and use of bisphenol-A substitute, namely bisphenol-S (BPS). Due to its novel nature, there have been few studies addressing the ability of BPS to disrupt the endocrine system of animals. In the present study, zebrafish ( ) embryos were exposed to and reared in various concentrations of BPS (0, 0.1, 1, 10 and 100 μg/l) for 75 days. Then adult males and females were paired in spawning tanks for 7 days in clean water and the consequent effects on fish development, reproduction, plasma vitellogenin (VTG), sex steroids and thyroid hormone levels were investigated as endpoints. After 75 days of exposure, there was a skewed sex ratio in favor of females. The results also showed that body length and weight significantly decreased in males exposed to 100 μg/l of BPS. Gonadosomatic index was significantly reduced in fish at ≥10 μg/l. Hepatosomatic index exhibited a significant increase in both male and female fish. At ≥1 μg/l of BPS, plasma 17β-estradiol levels were significantly increased in both males and females. However, plasma testosterone showed a significant reduction in males exposed to 10 and 100 μg/l of BPS. A significant induction in plasma VTG level was observed in both males and females at ≥10 μg/l of BPS. Plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine levels were significantly decreased at 10 and 100 μg/l of BPS in males, and at 100 μg/l in females. Egg production and sperm count were also significantly decreased in groups received 10 and 100 μg/l of BPS. Moreover, once time to hatching and hatching rates were calculated for fertilized eggs the postponed and decreased rates of hatching were observed. Taken together, these results suggest that developmental exposure to low concentrations of BPS has adverse effects on different parts of the endocrine system in zebrafish.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are frequently used as antimicrobials. While the mechanism(s) by which AgNPs are toxic are unclear, their increasing use raises the concern that release into the environment could lead to environmental toxicity. We characterized the physicochemical behavior, uptake, toxicity (growth inhibition), and mechanism of toxicity of three AgNPs with different sizes and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or citrate coatings to the nematode . We used wild-type (N2) and strains expected to be sensitive to oxidative stress ( , and ), genotoxins ( and ), and metals ( ). Using traditional and novel analytical methods, we observed significant aggregation and extra-organismal dissolution of silver, organismal uptake and, in one case, transgenerational transfer of AgNPs. We also observed growth inhibition by all tested AgNPs at concentrations in the low mg/L levels. A metallothionein-deficient ( ) strain was the only mutant tested that exhibited consistently greater AgNP sensitivity than wild-type. Although all tested AgNPs were internalized (passed cell membranes) in , at least part of the toxicity observed was mediated by ionic silver. Finally, we describe a modified growth assay that permits differentiation between direct growth-inhibitory effects and indirect inhibition mediated by toxicity to the food source.
Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPP) belong to the group of triester organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs), which have been used in a wide range of consumer products. These chemicals have been frequently detected in effluents, surface water, and fish, and hence their potential adverse effects on aquatic ecosystem are of concern. The present study was conducted to investigate the reproduction-related effects and possible molecular mechanisms of TDCPP and TPP using a 21 day reproduction test employing adult zebrafish ( ). After 21 d of exposure to TDCPP or TPP, significant decrease in fecundity along with significant increases of plasma 17β-estradiol (E2) concentrations, vitellogenin (VTG) levels, and E2/testosterone (T) and E2/11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) ratios were observed. The transcriptional profiles of several genes of the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonad (HPG) axis changed as well after the exposure, but the trend was sex-dependent. In male fish, ( ), , ( ) , ( ), , and ( ) were upregulated in the brain, while ( ) and ( ) were downregulated. Corresponding to the upregulation of and downregulation of in the brain, was upregulated and was downregulated in the testis. Among the genes that regulate the steroidogenesis pathway, transcription of ( ), ( ), and ( ) decreased, while transcription of , , and increased. In female fish, transcription of and decreased, but , , , , , and transcription increased in the brain. In the ovary, and were significantly upregulated, and most steroidogenic genes were significantly upregulated. The observed disruption of and GtHs could be further related to subsequent disruption in both sex steroid hormone balance and plasma VTG levels, as well as reproductive performance. Overall, our observation indicates that both TDCPP and TPP could disturb the sex hormone balance by altering regulatory mechanisms of the HPG axis, eventually leading to disruption of reproductive performance in fish.
Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NP) are frequently employed for their antimicrobial properties in antifouling paints. Their extensive use can contaminate aquatic ecosystems. However, the toxicological effects of this NP in the environment are poorly known. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity and oxidative stress induced by CuO NP on using several toxicological assays. CuO NP was found to induce growth inhibition and a significant decrease in carotenoids levels. From data on cells density after 72 h of CuO NP exposure in light, the EC50 value was calculated to be 150.45 ± 1.17 mg L and the NOEC ≤ 100 mg L . Evaluation of esterase activity demonstrates a decrease in cell metabolism activity with the increase of CuO NP concentration. The CuO NP induced an increase of reactive species level (190 ± 0.45% at 1000 mg L after 72 h of exposition, compared to control) and lipid peroxidation of cellular membranes (73 ± 2% at 1000 mg L of CuO NP in 72 h of exposition, compared to control). Investigation of CuO NP uptake showed the presence of NP into cells in different sites of the cell and, biomarkers of enzymatic antioxidants showed a change of activity after CuO NP exposition. In conclusion, was shown to be sensitive to the presence of CuO NP in their environment and CuO NP treatments induced a toxic response from 0.1 mg L after 72 h of treatment.
Ammonia is one of major environmental pollutants in the freshwater aquatic system that affects the survival and growth of organisms. In the present study, we investigated the effects of ammonia exposure on apoptosis, oxidative stress and immune response in pufferfish ( ). Fish were exposed to various concentrations of ammonia (0, 1.43, 3.57, 7.14 mM) for 72 h. The date showed that ammonia exposure could induce intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), interrupt intracellular Ca (cf-Ca ) homeostasis, and subsequently lead to DNA damage and cell apoptosis. To test the apoptotic pathway, the expression patterns of some key apoptotic related genes including P53, Bax Bcl2, Caspase 9, Caspase 8 and Caspase 3 in the liver were examined. The results showed that ammonia stress could change these genes transcription, associated with increasing of cell apoptosis, suggesting that the P53–Bax–Bcl2 pathway and caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway could be involved in cell apoptosis induced by ammonia stress. In addition, ammonia stress could induced up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines (BAFF, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-12) transcription, indicating that innate immune system play important roles in ammonia-induced toxicity in fish. Furthermore, the gene expressions of antioxidant enzymes (Mn-SOD, CAT, GPx, and GR) and heat shock proteins (HSP90 and HSP70) in the liver were induced by ammonia stress, suggesting that antioxidant system and heat shock proteins tried to protect cells from oxidative stress and apoptosis induced by ammonia stress. Our results will be helpful to understand the mechanism of aquatic toxicology induced by ammonia in fish.
Mammalian and studies have raised concerns about the toxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO NPs), but there are very limited data on ecotoxicity to aquatic life. This paper is an observational study where we aim to describe the toxicity of TiO NPs to the main body systems of rainbow trout. Stock solutions of dispersed TiO NPs were prepared by sonication without using solvents. A semi-static test system was used to expose rainbow trout to either a freshwater control, 0.1, 0.5, or 1.0 mg l TiO NPs for up to 14 days. Exposure to TiO NPs caused some gill pathologies including oedema and thickening of the lamellae. No major haematological or blood disturbances were observed in terms of red and white blood cell counts, haematocrit values, whole blood haemoglobin, and plasma Na or K concentrations. Tissue metal levels (Na , K , Ca and Mn) were generally unaffected. However, some exposure concentration-dependent changes in tissue Cu and Zn levels were observed, especially in the brain. Exposure to TiO NPs caused statistically significant decreases in Na K -ATPase activity (ANOVA, < 0.05) in the gills and intestine, and a trend of decreasing enzyme activity in the brain (the latter was not statistically significant). Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) showed exposure concentration-dependent and statistically significant (ANOVA or Kruskal–Wallis test, < 0.05) increases (two-fold or more) in the gill, intestine and brain, but not the liver during exposure to TiO NPs compared to controls. TiO NP exposure caused statistically significant (ANOVA, < 0.05) increases in the total glutathione levels in the gills, but depletion of hepatic glutathione compared to controls. Total glutathione levels in the brain and intestine were unaffected. Liver cells exposed to TiO NPs showed minor fatty change and lipidosis, and some hepatocytes showed condensed nuclear bodies (apoptotic bodies). Fish probably ingested water containing TiO NPs during exposure (stress-induced drinking) which may have resulted in some areas of erosion on the intestinal epithelium. Overall we conclude that titanium dioxide nanoparticles are not a major ionoregulatory toxicant, or haemolytic, at the concentration and exposure times used. Respiratory distress is a concern and sub-lethal toxicity involves oxidative stress, organ pathologies, and the induction of anti-oxidant defences, such as glutathione.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have been found in surface waters worldwide, but little is understood of their effects on the wildlife that inhabit these waters. Fluoxetine (Prozac; Eli Lilly), a highly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is a commonly found PPCP in surface water. The purpose of this project was to determine if environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoxetine impact behavior that is important for population survival in native fish species, including reproduction, feeding and predator avoidance. Chronic 4-week exposures were conducted with doses ranging from 100 ng/L to 100 μg/L to cover a range of environmentally relevant concentrations up to higher concentrations comparable to other published studies with the same drug that have documented various physiological impacts. (fathead minnow), a species native to North America, was used as it conducts a range of specific mating behaviors and therefore serves as an excellent model of specific impacts on brain function. Fluoxetine concentrations as low as 1 μg/L, a concentration that has been found in many freshwater environments, were found to significantly impact mating behavior, specifically nest building and defending in male fish. Males were also found to display aggression, isolation, and repetitive behaviors at higher concentrations. Female mating behavior was largely unaffected. In addition, predator avoidance behaviors in males and females were also impacted at 1 μg/L. Feeding was impacted at 10 μg/L and in the highest exposure (100 μg/L), egg production was limited by deaths of females due to significant male aggressive behaviors in the first two weeks of exposure. Specific behavioral changes occurred at each concentration (most noticeably 1 μg/L and 100 μg/L) indicating a dose dependent effect that triggered different responses at lower exposures versus higher exposures or differential impacts of dose depending on brain region. Length of exposure also had an impact on aggressive behavior. Changes in hormone levels, indicating significant neuroendocrine changes, suggested as a mechanism of response in higher dose and acute studies, were not linked to changes in behaviors at the doses used in this study. This research provides detailed data on how exposures to fluoxetine impact specific fish behaviors and reproduction and that the effects are dose dependent.
Microplastics pollution is a global paradigm that raises concern in relation to environmental and human health. This study investigated toxic effects of microplastics and mercury in the European seabass ( , a marine fish widely used as food for humans. A short-term (96 h) laboratory bioassay was done by exposing juvenile fish to microplastics (0.26 and 0.69 mg/L), mercury (0.010 and 0.016 mg/L) and binary mixtures of the two substances using the same concentrations, through test media. Microplastics alone and mercury alone caused neurotoxicity through acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, increased lipid oxidation (LPO) in brain and muscle, and changed the activities of the energy-related enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). All the mixtures caused significant inhibition of brain AChE activity (64–76%), and significant increase of LPO levels in brain (2.9–3.4 fold) and muscle (2.2–2.9 fold) but not in a concentration-dependent manner; mixtures containing low and high concentrations of microplastics caused different effects on IDH and LDH activity. Mercury was found to accumulate in the brain and muscle, with bioaccumulation factors of 4–7 and 25–40, respectively. Moreover, in the analysis of mercury concentrations in both tissues, a significant interaction between mercury and microplastics was found. The decay of mercury in the water increased with microplastics concentration, and was higher in the presence of fish than in their absence. Overall, these results indicate that: microplastics influence the bioaccumulation of mercury by juveniles; microplastics, mercury and their mixtures (ppb range concentrations) cause neurotoxicity, oxidative stress and damage, and changes in the activities of energy-related enzymes in juveniles of this species; mixtures with the lowest and highest concentrations of their components induced different effects on some biomarkers. These findings and other published in the literature raise concern regarding high level predators and humans consuming fish being exposed to microplastics and heavy metals, and highlight the need of more research on the topic.
► TDCPP exposure altered whole-body thyroid hormones concentrations in zebrafish embryos/larvae. ► The up-regulation of genes related to thyroid hormones metabolism might be responsible for decreased thyroxine (T4) concentrations. ► TDCPP exposure up-regulated expression of genes related to thyroid hormones synthesis as a compensatory mechanism for decreased T4 concentrations. Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) has been frequently detected in the environment and in various biota, including fish, and has been implicated in disruption of the thyroid endocrine system. In the present study, zebrafish ( ) embryos were exposed to different concentrations of TDCPP (10, 50, 100, 300 and 600 μg/L) from 2 h post-fertilization (hpf) to 144 hpf. Developmental endpoints, and whole-body concentrations of thyroid hormones and transcriptional profiles of genes involved in the hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid (HPT) axis were examined. Exposure to TDCPP caused a dose-dependent developmental toxicity, including decreased body weight, reduced hatching, survival and heartbeat rates, and increased malformation (spinal curvature). Treatment with the positive control chemical 3,3′,5-triiodo- -thyronine (T3) significantly decreased whole-body thyroxin (T4) concentrations, increased whole-body T3 concentrations, and upregulated mRNA expression involved in the HPT axis as a compensatory mechanism. These results suggested that the HPT axis in 144-hpf zebrafish larvae was responsive to chemical exposure and could be used to evaluate the effects of chemicals on the thyroid endocrine system. TDCPP exposure significantly decreased whole-body T4 concentrations and increased whole-body T3 concentrations, indicating thyroid endocrine disruption. The upregulation of genes related to thyroid hormone metabolism ( and ) might be responsible for decreased T4 concentrations. Treatment with TDCPP also significantly increased transcription of genes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis ( , and ) and thyroid development ( , and ) as a compensatory mechanism for decreased T4 concentrations. Taken together, these results suggest that TDCPP alters the transcription of genes involved in the HPT axis and changes whole-body concentrations of thyroid hormones in zebrafish embryos/larvae, thus causing an endocrine disruption of the thyroid system.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest oil spill in United States history. Crude oils are highly toxic to developing fish embryos, and many pelagic fish species were spawning in the northern Gulf in the months before containment of the damaged Mississippi Canyon 252 (MC252) wellhead (April–July). The largest prior U.S. spill was the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez that released 11 million gallons of Alaska North Slope crude oil (ANSCO) into Prince William Sound. Numerous studies in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill defined a conventional crude oil injury phenotype in fish early life stages, mediated primarily by toxicity to the developing heart. To determine whether this type of injury extends to fishes exposed to crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon – MC252 incident, we used zebrafish to compare the embryotoxicity of ANSCO alongside unweathered and weathered MC252 oil. We also developed a standardized protocol for generating dispersed oil water-accommodated fractions containing microdroplets of crude oil in the size range of those detected in subsurface plumes in the Gulf. We show here that MC252 oil and ANSCO cause similar cardiotoxicity and photo-induced toxicity in zebrafish embryos. Morphological defects and patterns of cytochrome P450 induction were largely indistinguishable and generally correlated with polycyclic aromatic compound (PAC) composition of each oil type. Analyses of embryos exposed during different developmental windows provided additional insight into mechanisms of crude oil cardiotoxicity. These findings indicate that the impacts of MC252 crude oil on fish embryos and larvae are consistent with the canonical ANSCO cardiac injury phenotype. For those marine fish species that spawned in the northern Gulf of Mexico during and after the Deepwater Horizon incident, the established literature can therefore inform the assessment of natural resource injury in the form of potential year-class losses.
A decade has now passed since our research group initially reported several adverse effects of fluoxetine to aquatic organisms commonly employed for developing environmental quality criteria, evaluating whole effluent toxicity, and monitoring ambient toxicity of surface waters and sediments. Our subsequent observation of fluoxetine, sertraline and their active metabolites (norfluoxetine and desmethylsertraline, respectively) accumulating in muscle, liver and brain tissues of three different fish species from an effluent-dominated stream was termed “Fish on Prozac.” Here I briefly review some scientific lessons learned from our study of antidepressants and the environment, including opportunities for research, management, environmental education and public outreach. Intrinsic chemical properties of antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals have afforded research in areas ranging from analytical chemistry and comparative pharmacology, to influences of ionization, chirality and adverse outcome pathways on hazard and risk assessment, and further promises to support sustainable molecular design of less hazardous chemicals. Using probabilistic hazard assessment and fish plasma modeling approaches, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants are predicted to result in therapeutic hazard to fish (internal fish plasma level equaling mammalian therapeutic dose) when exposed to water (inhalational) at or below 1 μg/L, a common trigger value for environmental assessments. Though many questions remain unanswered, studies of antidepressants in urbanizing aquatic systems have provided, and will continue to develop, an advanced understanding of environmental hazards and risks from pharmaceuticals and other contaminants.
Animal alternatives research has historically focused on human safety assessments and has only recently been extended to environmental testing. This is particularly for those assays that involve the use of fish. A number of alternatives are being pursued by the scientific community including the fish embryo toxicity (FET) test, a proposed replacement alternative to the acute fish test. Discussion of the FET methodology and its application in environmental assessments on a global level was needed. With this emerging issue in mind, the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) and the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) held an International Workshop on the Application of the Fish Embryo Test as an Animal Alternative Method in Hazard and Risk Assessment and Scientific Research in March, 2008. The workshop included approximately 40 scientists and regulators representing government, industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations from North America, Europe, and Asia. The goal was to review the state of the science regarding the investigation of fish embryonic tests, pain and distress in fish, emerging approaches utilizing fish embryos, and the use of fish embryo toxicity test data in various types of environmental assessments (e.g., hazard, risk, effluent, and classification and labeling of chemicals). Some specific key outcomes included agreement that risk assessors need fish data for decision-making, that extending the FET to include eluethereombryos was desirable, that relevant endpoints are being used, and that additional endpoints could facilitate additional uses beyond acute toxicity testing. The FET was, however, not yet considered validated OECD. An important action step will be to provide guidance on how all fish tests can be used to assess chemical hazard and to harmonize the diverse terminology used in test guidelines adopted over the past decades. Use of the FET in context of effluent assessments was considered and it is not known if fish embryos are sufficiently sensitive for consideration as a surrogate to the sub-chronic 7-day larval fish growth and survival test used in the United States, for example. Addressing these needs by via workshops, research, and additional data reviews were identified for future action by scientists and regulators.