Accession Number:



Cardiovascular Toxicity of Environmental Contaminants to Developing Fish -- Molecular Mechanisms.

Descriptive Note:

Final technical rept. 1 Nov 94-31 Oct 95,

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Both developing zebrafish and medaka are exquisitely sensitive to the cardiovascular toxicity of all-trans retinoic acid RA between fertilization and the onset of blood circulation, with incubation medium concentrations of 3-5 ngml applied during the blastula stage causing pericardial edema with subsequent circulatory stasis and severe subcutaneous edema and ascites. The sensitivity of both species to RA decreased dramatically during development, with over 40 ngml required to cause edema with embryos treated after body pigmentation, and over 300 ngml required to cause edema in hatched fry. Zebrafish and medaka embryos are comparably sensitive to the cardiovascular toxicity of TCDD 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin when treated at fertilization, with 2-3 ngg TCDD in embryos causing lethality. Thus these species are approximately 40X less sensitive to the cardiovascular toxicity and lethality caused by TCDD exposure early in development than are lake trout embryos in which the LCSO is 0.065 ngg. Both fish species demonstrate a TCDD cardiovascular toxicity syndrome similar to that seen following RA exposure, with initial pericardial edema followed by circulatory stasis, subcutaneous edema and ascites. Histologic lesions in TCDD-treated zebrafish included ballooning degeneration and necrosis of brain and epithelial tissues such as kidney, pancreas and liver. Molecular components of basement membrane of cardiovascular and epithelial tissues, including fibronectin, collagen IV and laminin, have been revealed in frozen sections of zebrafish and medaka using immunoperoxidase or immunofluorescence detection methods.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement: