Use of toxicogenomics to predict the potential toxic effect of Benzo(a)pyrene on zebrafish embryos: ocular developmental toxicity

Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is a representative polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), which is ubiquitous in the environment. The toxic effects of BaP on fish embryos have been described in detail, but some potentially toxic effects of BaP might have been neglected owing to the limitations of traditional techniques. In the present research, global transcriptional patterns were used to study the potentially toxic effects of BaP, as well as its underlying toxicological mechanisms. The expression levels of multiple genes were significantly changed by BaP exposure. The results of ontology assignments and cluster analysis showed that BaP could affect the processes of photoreceptor maintenance and phototransduction. The authors also conducted an experiment on phototactic response and found that larvae exposed to BaP displayed a decreasing response to light. In addition, BaP exposure decreased the cellular density of the ganglion cell layer (GCL) significantly. These results suggested that BaP exposure induced visual system developmental defects and dysfunction by perturbation of photoreceptor development related genes. The authors concluded that the findings were helpful for an understanding of the toxicity of BaP. Furthermore, this study indicated that microarray analysis was effective for predicting the potential toxicity of chemicals with high sensitivity and accuracy.

Authors: Huang L, Zuo Z, Zhang Y, Wu M, Lin JJ, Wang C. ;Full Source: Chemosphere. 2014 Aug;108:55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.02.078. Epub 2014 Apr 12. ;