Vulnerable windows for developmental ethanol toxicity in the Japanese medaka fish (Oryzias latipes).
Ethanol (EtOH) is a well-known developmental toxicant that produces a range of abnormal phenotypes in mammalian systems including craniofacial abnormalities, cognitive deficits and growth retardation. While the toxic potential of developmental EtOH exposure is well characterized clinically, the effect of timing on the extent of toxicity remains unknown. Fish models such as the Japanese medaka, Oryzias latipes, provide a convenient system for investigating the effects of developmental EtOH exposure in vivo. In this study, medaka embryo toxicity tests were used to assess temporal variations in developmental EtOH toxicity. Fertilized eggs were collected and incubated during early, middle or late egg development (e.g., 0-3, 3-6 or 6-9 days post-fertilization) with various sub-lethal concentrations of EtOH [0.1% (17.2 mM), 0.5% (86.0 mM) or 1% (172 mM)]. Uptake of EtOH by the embryo was 60-68% of the solution concentration across all windows. Time to hatch, head width, total body length and whole embryo caspase activity were used to assess toxicity. Hatching delays were noted only at the highest concentration of EtOH. Head width was affected at all ethanol levels, regardless of the window of exposure. EtOH-induced decreases in body length, however, appeared to be most pronounced when exposure occurred either during the first or last window. The effect on caspase-3/7 activity also depended on the window of exposure, with increases in caspase noted in embryos treated on days 1 or 2 (first window) and decreases seen in embryos treated on day 6 (second window) or day 8 (third window). In general, these data suggest that critical periods for heightened sensitivity to developmental EtOH exposure may vary according to the specific endpoint used to assess toxicity.
Oxendine, SL; Cowden, J; Hinton, DE; Padilla, S
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