Wolinska, L., Brzuzan, P., Wozny, M., Gora, M., Luczynski, M.K., Podlasz, P., Kolwicz, S., and Piasecka, A. (2011) Preliminary study on adverse effects of phenanthrene and its novel methyl and phenyl derivatives in larval zebrafish, Danio rerio. Environmental Biotechnology. 7(1):26-33.
Toxic effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been extensively studied in fish, although knowledge concerning biological activities of phenanthrene and its derivatives remains still incomplete. The aim of this work was to evaluate lethal and sublethal effects of benzo(a)pyrene, phenanthrene and phenanthrene derivatives (1-methylphenanthrene, 4-methylphenanthrene, 1-phenylphenanthrene and 4-phenylphenanthrene) on zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae.
We conducted acute toxicity test, using 96h static renewal exposure to a series of the PAH concentrations (0.05, 0.50, 5.00, 50.00μmol·l-1), to determine the No Effect Concentration (NEC) value for each compound examined. The mean NEC
estimates obtained in the study were 5.16±0.45μmol·l-1 (B[a]P), 4.88±0.13μmol·l-1 (Ph), 40.24±12.93μmol·l-1 (1P-Ph), 47.92±3.61μmol·l-1 (1M-Ph), 24.31±7.33μmol·l-1 (4P-Ph) and 3.11±1.01μmol·l-1 (4M-Ph) and suggested the following order of PAH toxicities on Danio rerio larvae: 4M-Ph>Ph~B[a]P>4PPh~1P-Ph>1M-Ph. To gain insight into possible molecular mechanisms of apparent toxicity of phenanthrene derivatives on zebrafish larvae, we examined mRNA expression of cyp1a, cyp1b1, and vtg genes in the larvae exposed for 48h to a PAH concentration of 0.50μmol·l-1. Whereas the larvae exposed to each tested PAH displayed many developmental abnormalities (i.e. pericardial and yolk sac edema, dorsal
curvature, or tail malformations), no significant upregulation of cyp1a and cyp1b1 mRNA was observed, except for zebrafish exposed to B[a]P. However, significant reduction of vtg mRNA was observed in the larvae exposed to phenanthrene and its 4P- derivative. The results may contribute to the development of a new knowledge about effects of structurally diverse phenanthrene derivatives on vertebrate organisms.