Yang, L., Ho, N.Y., Muller, F., and Strahle, U. (2010) Methyl mercury suppresses the formation of the tail primordium in developing zebrafish embryos. Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology. 115(2):379-390.
The objective of this study was to characterize the mechanisms of action of the model environmental toxicant methyl mercury (MeHg) in the zebrafish embryo. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to MeHg and the effective concentration and window of exposure was determined in wildtype and fluorescent reporter transgenic zebrafish embryos. Genes were systematically assessed for altered expression in response to MeHg by in situ hybridization. MeHg impairs development of the fin fold and the tail fin primordium. Alterations in transgene expression were noted at 6 mug/l MeHg, making this shh:gfp line the most sensitive biosensor of MeHg exposure. The matrix metalloproteases mmp9 and mmp13 and 8 other genes are induced in the embryonic tail in response to MeHg. Our data suggest that MeHg impairs tail development at least partially by activation of the tissue remodelling proteases Mmp9 and Mmp13.