Mitochondria are significant targets in cells for many environmental chemicals. Mitochondrial damage and dysfunction can lead to apoptosis and death of fish. The objectives of this study were to compare the modes of action (MOAs) between fish, cell and mitochondrial toxicity. To achieve the goal, toxicity correlation, excess toxicity and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) were investigated between these three toxicity endpoints for a wide range of compounds. Results showed that fish toxicity is well correlated to cytotoxicity, but overall fish toxicity is relatively greater than the cytotoxicity. On the other hand, fish or cell toxicity is poorly related to mitochondrial toxicity, suggesting some compounds share same toxic mechanism but some not. The excess toxicity calculated from toxicity ratio (TR) shows that specifically-acting compounds in cytotoxicity, such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, dyes and medications used to treat cancer, depression, heart failure and blood pressure, are active compounds in mitochondrial toxicity. However, the less inert compounds identified in fish and cell toxicity exhibit greatly mitochondrial toxicity. QSAR models reveal that fish or cell toxicity is closely related to the chemical hydrophobicity, ionization, energy of lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, hydrogen bonding potential and stability. These descriptors reflect chemical bio-uptake, reactivity and interaction with target receptors. On the other hand, binomial model reveals that mitochondrial toxicity is closely related to the chemical hydrophobicity and polarizability/dipolarity, indicating bio-uptake and Van der Waals interaction play key roles in mitochondrial toxicity. Theoretical equations have been used to explain the toxicity correlation, excess toxicity and QSAR for fish, cell and mitochondrial toxicity. Above results suggest that cytotoxicity can serve as a surrogate for fish toxicity and be used in the safety evaluation of organic pollutants in aqueous environment, but not mitochondrial toxicity, although some compounds share same modes of action between fish or cell toxicity and mitochondrial toxicity.
Authors: Shuo Wang, Xiao Zhang, Bingxin Gui, Xiaotian Xu, Limin Su, Yuan H Zhao, Christopher J Martyniuk
; Full Source: Toxicology 2022 Mar 17;470:153155. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2022.153155.