Acute toxicity and gene responses induced by endosulfan in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos

Young Sun Moon, Hwang Ju Jeon, Tae Hoon Nam, Sung Deuk Choi, Byung Jun Park, Yong Sik Ok, Sung Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Endosulfan has been listed as a persistent organic pollutant, and is frequently found in agricultural environments during monitoring processes owing to its heavy use and persistent characteristics. This study was conducted to understand the effects of endosulfan on the development of zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos by exposing them to a specific range of endosulfan concentrations. Exposing zebrafish embryos to endosulfan for 96 h yielded no acute toxicity until the concentration reached 1500 µg L-1, whereas malformed zebrafish larvae developed severely curved spines and shortened tails. About 50% of zebrafish larvae were malformed when exposed to 600 µg L-1 of endosulfan. Comparative gene expression using realtime quantitative polymerase chain reaction was assessed using endosulfan-exposed zebrafish embryos. CYP1A and CYP3A were significantly enhanced in response to endosulfan treatment. Two genes, acacb and fasn, encoding acetyl-CoA carboxylase b and fatty acid synthase proteins, respectively, were also up-regulated after treating zebrafish embryos with endosulfan. These genes are also involved in fatty acid biosynthesis. The genes encoding vitellogenin and Hsp70 increased in a concentration-dependent manner in embryos. Finally, biochemical studies showed that acetylcholinesterase activity was reduced, whereas glutathione S-transferase and carboxylesterase activities were enhanced in zebrafish embryos after endosulfan treatment. These biochemical and molecular biological differences might be used for tools to determine contamination of endosulfan in the aquatic environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Speciation and Bioavailability
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 12
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetyl-CoA carboxylase
  • Endosulfan
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • RT-qPCR
  • Zebrafish embryos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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