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Issue 3, 2020
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Developmental toxicity of trichloroethylene in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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Trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent and degreaser, is an environmental toxicant that contaminates over half of Superfund sites, is a known carcinogen, and is linked to congenital defects and neurodegenerative disease. The developmental toxicity of TCE near ecologically relevant levels needs further characterization in order to better assess health risks of exposure. In this study, the toxicodynamics of TCE in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) model was investigated through the establishment of a LC50 concentration and by monitoring the acute developmental toxicity of ecologically relevant concentrations (0, 5, 50, and 500 parts per billion; ppb) of TCE during two different exposure lengths (1–72 hours post fertilization (hpf) and 1–120 hpf). Acute developmental toxicity was assessed by monitoring survival and hatching, larval morphology, larval heart rate, and behavioral responses during an embryonic photomotor response test and a larval visual motor response test. Embryonic exposure to TCE was associated with decreased percent hatch at 48 hpf, altered larval morphology, increased heart rate, and altered behavioral responses during the photomotor response test and visual motor response test. Larval morphology and behavioral alterations were more pronounced in the 1–120 hpf exposure length trials. The observed alterations suggest developmental TCE toxicity is still a concern at regulatory concentrations and that timing of exposure influences developmental toxicity.

Graphical abstract: Developmental toxicity of trichloroethylene in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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Supplementary files

Article information

03 Dec 2019
22 Jan 2020
First published
23 Jan 2020

Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2020,22, 728-739
Article type

Developmental toxicity of trichloroethylene in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

K. A. Horzmann, A. M. Portales, K. G. Batcho and J. L. Freeman, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2020, 22, 728
DOI: 10.1039/C9EM00565J

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