Teratogenicity of retinoids detected in surface waters in zebrafish embryos and its predictability by in vitro assays

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Aquatic toxicology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Web https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X22000789?via%3Dihub
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2022.106151
Keywords Retinoids; Teratogenicity; RAR; In vitro; Zebrafish
Description Retinoids are newly detected compounds in aquatic ecosystems associated with cyanobacterial water blooms. Their potential health risks are only scarcely described despite numerous detections of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and its derivatives in the environment. Besides the known teratogen ATRA there is only little or no information about their potency and namely their effects in vivo. We characterize ATRA and 8 other retinoids reported to occur in the environment for their bioactivity and teratogenicity using four in vitro reporter gene assays and zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryotoxicity assay. Our results document the ability of these compounds to interfere with retinoid signalling and cause teratogenicity at environmentally relevant levels with EC50 values at nM (hundreds of ng/L) levels and teratogenic indexes ranging from 2.8 (9cis retinoic acid) to 15.8 (retinal). The relative potency of individual compounds for teratogenicity ranged from 0.059 (retinal) to 0.96 (5,6-epoxy ATRA) when compared to ATRA. An environmentally relevant mixture of retinoids was tested showing good predictability of teratogenicity from the in vitro activities and additive toxicity of the mixture. The high teratogenicity of the newly described compounds associated with cyanobacteria presents a concern for developmental stages due to high conservation of the retinoid signalling across vertebrates.
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