Zebrafish Locomotor Responses Reveal Irritant Effects of Fine Particulate Matter Extracts and a Role for TRPA1.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) air pollution causes adverse cardiopulmonary outcomes. Yet, the limited capacity to readily identify contributing PM sources and associated PM constituents in any given ambient air shed impedes risk assessment efforts. The health effects of PM have been attributed in part to its capacity to elicit irritant responses. A variety of chemicals trigger irritant behavior responses in zebrafish that can be easily measured. The purposes of this study were to examine the utility of zebrafish locomotor responses in the toxicity assessment of fine PM and its chemical fractions and uncover mechanisms of action. Locomotor responses were recorded in 6-day-old zebrafish exposed for 60 min in the dark at 26 °C to the extractable organic matter of a compressor-generated diesel exhaust PM (C-DEP) and 4 of its fractions (F1-F4) containing varying chemical classes of increasing polarity. The role of the transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel TRPA1, a chemical sensor in mammals and zebrafish, in locomotor responses to C-DEP, was also examined. Acrolein, an environmental irritant and known activator of TRPA1, and all extracts induced concentration-dependent locomotor responses whose potencies ranked as follows: polar F3 > weakly polar F2 > C-DEP > highly polar F4 > nonpolar F1, indicating that polar and weakly polar fractions that included nitro- and oxy-polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), drove C-DEP responses. Irritant potencies in fish positively correlated with mutagenic potencies of the same extracts in strains of Salmonella sensitive to nitro- and oxy-PAHs, further implicating these chemical classes in the zebrafish responses to C-DEP. Pharmacologic inhibition of TRPA1 blocked locomotor responses to acrolein and the extracts. Taken together, these data indicate that the zebrafish locomotor assay may help expedite toxicity screening of fine PM sources, identify causal chemical classes, and uncover plausible biological mechanisms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stevens, JS; Padilla, S; DeMarini, DM; Hunter, DL; Martin, WK; Thompson, LC; Gilmour, MI; Hazari, MS; Farraj, AK

Published Date

  • February 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 161 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 290 - 299

PubMed ID

  • 29048608

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5837722

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0929

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1096-6080

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/toxsci/kfx217


  • eng