ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180722-12
Assessment of raw and ozonated oil sands process-affected water exposure in developing zebrafish: Associating morphological changes with gene expression
Lyons, D.D., Philibert, D.A., Zablocki, T., Qin, R., Huang, R., Gamal El-Din, M., Tierney, K.B.
Date: 2018
Source: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)   241: 959-968 (Journal)
Registered Authors:
Keywords: Biomarkers, Development, Gene expression, Oil sands process affected water, Ozone treatment
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Canada
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Gene Expression/drug effects
  • Oil and Gas Fields
  • Ozone/chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity*
  • Zebrafish/anatomy & histology
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 30029330 Full text @ Environ. Pollut.
With the ever-increasing amounts of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) accumulating from Canada's oil sands operations, its eventual release must be considered. As OSPW has been found to be both acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic organisms, remediation processes must be developed to lower its toxicity. Ozone treatment is currently being studied as a tool to facilitate the removal of organic constituents associated with toxicity. Biomarkers (e.g. gene expression) are commonly used when studying the effects of environmental contaminants, however, they are not always indicative of adverse effects at the whole organism level. In this study, we assessed the effects of OSPW exposure on developing zebrafish by linking gene expression to relevant cellular and whole organism level endpoints. We also investigated whether or not ozone treatment decreased biomarkers and any associated toxicity observed from OSPW exposure. The concentrations of classical naphthenic acids in the raw and ozonated OSPW used in this study were 16.9 mg/L and 0.6 mg/L, respectively. Ozone treatment reduced the total amount of naphthenic acids (NAs) in the OSPW sample by 92%. We found that exposure to both raw and ozonated OSPW had no effect on the survival of zebrafish embryos. The expression levels of biotransformation genes CYP1A and CYP1B were induced by raw OSPW exposure, with CYP1B being more highly expressed than CYP1A. In contrast, ozonated OSPW exposure did not increase the expression of CYP1A and only slightly induced CYP1B. A decrease in cardiac development and function genes (NKX2.5 and APT2a2a) was not associates with large changes in heart rate, arrhythmia or heart size. We did not find any indications of craniofacial abnormalities or of increased occurrence of apoptotic cells. Overall, our study found that OSPW was not overtly toxic to zebrafish embryos.