Cardiac toxicity of 5-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is differentially dependent on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor 2 isoform during zebrafish development

Incardona, J.P., Linbo, T.L., and Scholz, N.L.
Toxicology and applied pharmacology   257(2): 242-9 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Incardona, John P., Linbo, Tiffany L., Scholz, Nat
polyaromatic compounds, non-point source pollution, fish embryogenesis, heart development, metabolism
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Bradycardia/chemically induced
  • Bradycardia/embryology
  • Bradycardia/metabolism
  • Cardiotoxins/toxicity*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/drug effects
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/embryology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/physiology*
  • Embryonic Development/drug effects
  • Embryonic Development/physiology*
  • Pericardium/drug effects
  • Pericardium/embryology
  • Pericardium/physiology*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons/toxicity*
  • Protein Isoforms/physiology
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
21964300 Full text @ Tox. App. Pharmacol.
Petroleum-derived compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), commonly occur as complex mixtures in the environment. Recent studies using the zebrafish experimental model have shown that PAHs are toxic to the embryonic cardiovascular system, and that the severity and nature of this developmental cardiotoxicity varies by individual PAH. In the present study we characterize the toxicity of the relatively higher molecular weight 5-ring PAHs benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), benzo[e]pyrene (BeP), and benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkF). While all three compounds target the cardiovascular system, the underlying role of the ligand-activated aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR2) and the tissue-specific induction of the cytochrome p450 metabolic pathway (CYP1A) were distinct for each. BaP exposure (40 μM) produced AHR2-dependent bradycardia, pericardial edema, and myocardial CYP1A immunofluorescence. By contrast, BkF exposure (4–40 μM) caused more severe pericardial edema, looping defects, and erythrocyte regurgitation through the atrioventricular valve that were AHR2-independent (i.e., absent myocardial or endocardial CYP1A induction). Lastly, exposure to BeP (40 μM) yielded a low level of CYP1A+ signal in the vascular endothelium of the head and trunk, without evident toxic effects on cardiac function or morphogenesis. Combined with earlier work on 3- and 4-ring PAHs, our findings provide a more complete picture of how individual PAHs may drive the cardiotoxicity of mixtures in which they predominate. This will improve toxic injury assessments and risk assessments for wild fish populations that spawn in habitats altered by overlapping petroleum-related human impacts such as oil spills, urban stormwater runoff, or sediments contaminated by legacy industrial activities.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes