Atrazine exposure in zebrafish induces aberrant genome-wide methylation

Wang, S., Bryan, C., Xie, J., Zhao, H., Lin, L., Tai, J.A.C., Horzmann, K.A., Sanchez, O., Zhang, M., Freeman, J.L., Yuan, C.
Neurotoxicology and teratology   92: 107091 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Freeman, Jennifer
Atrazine, Developmental origins of health and disease, Methylation, Neurotoxicity, Transcriptomics, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Atrazine*/metabolism
  • Atrazine*/toxicity
  • DNA Methylation
  • Endocrine Disruptors*/toxicity
  • Female
  • Herbicides*/toxicity
  • Zebrafish
35472415 Full text @ Neurotoxicol. Teratol.
Atrazine (ATZ) is the second most common agricultural herbicide used in the United States and is an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC). Developmental exposure to ATZ can lead to significant behavioral and morphological alterations in exposed animals and their progeny suggesting the involvement of an epigenetic mechanism. Specific epigenetic mechanisms responsible for these alterations, however, are yet to be elucidated. In this study, we exposed zebrafish embryos to 0, 0.3, 3, or 30 ppb (μg/L) of ATZ from 1 to 72 h post fertilization (hpf). Chemical exposure was ceased and zebrafish maintained until 9 months post fertilization (mpf), when whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) was performed to assess the effects of embryonic ATZ exposure on DNA methylation in female fish brains. The number of differentially methylated genes (DMGs) increased with increasing treatment concentration. DMGs were enriched in neurological pathways with extensive methylation changes consistently observed in neuroendocrine pathways. Specifically, DMGs with methylation changes in promoter regions showed hypomethylation in estrogen receptor signaling and hypermethylation in androgen signaling. DMGs with methylation changes in genebody were primarily enriched for mitochondrion-related pathways associated with healthy aging. Integrated analysis with transcriptomic data at 9 mpf exhibited a similar trend identifying CABLES1 and NDUFA4 as shared targets at all concentrations. We then compared the predicted upstream regulators of transcriptomic changes with DMGs and identified CALML3 as a common upstream regulator at both 0.3 and 30 ppb that exhibit significant methylation changes. Collectively, our study identified long-lasting DNA methylation changes in genome after embryonic ATZ exposure and elucidates potential gene targets whose aberrant methylation features may drive alterations in gene transcription in long-term.
Genes / Markers
Show all Figures
Mutation and Transgenics
Human Disease / Model Data
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes
Errata and Notes