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Emerging Disinfection Byproduct 2,6-Dichlorobenzoquinone-Induced Cardiovascular Developmental Toxicity of Embryonic Zebrafish and Larvae: Imaging and Transcriptome Analysis

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posted on 2022-12-03, 14:07 authored by Xue Yang, Chang Wang, Qi Zheng, Qiongyu Liu, Nicholas J. P. Wawryk, Xing-Fang Li
Epidemiological studies have observed the potential association of water disinfection byproduct (DBP) exposure with cardiac defects. Aromatic DBPs represent a significant portion of total DBPs, but their effects on cardiovascular development are unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of an aromatic DBP, 2,6-dichlorobenzoquinone (DCBQ), on the cardiovascular development of zebrafish embryos. After exposure to 2, 4, and 8 μM DCBQ, morphological images of growing zebrafish embryos clearly showed cardiovascular malformation. Fluorescent images of transgenic zebrafish strains with fluorescently labeled heart and blood vessels show that DCBQ exposure resulted in deformed atrium–ventricle looping, degenerated abdomen and trunk vessels, pericardial edema, and decreased blood flow. Furthermore, the expression of the marker gene myl7 (essential for the differentiation and motility of cardiomyocytes) was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by DCBQ exposure. Finally, transcriptome analysis found that in the 4 μM DCBQ exposure group, the numbers of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were 113 (50 upregulated and 63 downregulated) at 24 hpf, 2123 (762 upregulated and 1361 downregulated) at 48 hpf, and 61 (11 upregulated and 50 downregulated) at 120 hpf; in the 8 μM DCBQ exposure group, the number of DEGs was 1407 (647 upregulated and 760 downregulated) at 120 hpf. The FoxO signaling pathway was significantly altered. The in vivo results demonstrate the effects of 2,6-DCBQ (0–8 μM) on cardiovascular development, contributing to the understanding of the developmental toxicity of aromatic DBP halobenzoquinones (HBQs).

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