Developmental atrazine exposure in zebrafish produces the same major metabolites as mammals along with altered behavioral outcomes

Ahkin Chin Tai, J.K., Horzmann, K.A., Franco, J., Jannasch, A.S., Cooper, B.R., Freeman, J.L.
Neurotoxicology and teratology   85: 106971 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Freeman, Jennifer
Atrazine, Developmental toxicity, Metabolism, Neurotoxicity, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Atrazine/adverse effects*
  • Atrazine/metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Larva/drug effects
  • Larva/growth & development
  • Metabolomics
  • Motor Activity/drug effects*
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
33713789 Full text @ Neurotoxicol. Teratol.
Atrazine (ATZ) is the second most commonly applied agricultural herbicide in the United States. Due to contamination concerns, the U.S. EPA has set the maximum contaminant level in potable water sources at 3 parts per billion (ppb; μg/l). Depending on the time of year and sampling location, water sources often exceed this limit. ATZ is an endocrine disrupting chemical in multiple species observed to target the neuroendocrine system. In this study the zebrafish vertebrate model was used to test the hypothesis that a developmental ATZ exposure generates metabolites similar to those found in mammals and alters morphology and behavior in developing larvae. Adult AB zebrafish were bred, embryos were collected, and exposed to 0, 0.3, 3, or 30 ppb ATZ from 1 to 120 h post fertilization (hpf). Targeted metabolomic analysis found that zebrafish produce the same major ATZ metabolites as mammals: desethyl atrazine (DEA), deisopropyl atrazine (DIA), and diaminochloroatrazine (DACT). The visual motor response test at 120 hpf detected hyperactivity in larvae in the 0.3 ppb treatment group and hypoactivity in the 30 ppb treatment group (p < 0.05). Further analysis into behavior during the dark and light phases showed zebrafish larvae exposed to 0.3 ppb ATZ had an increase in total distance moved in the first light phase and time spent moving in the first dark and light phase (p < 0.05). Alternatively, a decrease in total distance moved was observed in the second and third dark phase in zebrafish exposed to 30 ppb ATZ (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for any of the morphological measurements following ATZ exposure from 1 to 120 hpf (p > 0.05). These findings suggest that a ATZ exposure during early development generates metabolite profiles similar to mammals and leads to behavioral alterations supporting ATZ as a neurodevelopmental toxicant.
Genes / Markers
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Mutation and Transgenics
Human Disease / Model Data
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes
Errata and Notes