Developmental toxicity and endocrine disrupting potency of 4-azapyrene, benzo[b]fluorene and retene in the zebrafish Danio rerio

Hawliczek, Alessa; Nota, B.; Cenijn, P.; Kamstra, J.; Pieterse, B.; Winter, R.; Winkens, K.; Hollert, H.; Segner, Helmut; Legler, J. (2012). Developmental toxicity and endocrine disrupting potency of 4-azapyrene, benzo[b]fluorene and retene in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Reproductive Toxicology, 33(2), pp. 213-23. Elsevier 10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.11.001

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This study examined the developmental toxicity of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) 11H-benzo(b)fluorene (BBF) and 4-azapyrene (AP) in comparison to the known teratogen retene. Developmental toxicity assays were performed in zebrafish embryos exposed for 120 h. BBF and retene induced a similar dioxin-like phenotype, whereas AP showed distinct effects, particularly craniofacial malformations. Microarray analysis revealed that for BBF and retene, drug metabolism pathways were induced, which were confirmed by subsequent studies of cyp1a gene expression. For AP, microarray analysis revealed the regulation of genes involved in retinoid metabolism and hematological functions. Studies with a panel of CALUX((R)) bioassays to screen for endocrine disrupting activity of the compounds also revealed novel antagonistic effects of BBF and retene on androgen and progesterone receptors. Classification analysis revealed distinct gene expression profiles for both individual and combined PAH exposure. This study highlights the potential health risk of non priority PAHs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Hawliczek - Ignarski, Alessa, Segner, Helmut


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2014 11:41

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:23

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Animals, Embryo, Nonmammalian/drug effects, Endocrine Disruptors/*toxicity, Gene Expression Regulation, developmental/drug effects, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic/*toxicity, Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/genetics/metabolism, Teratogens/*toxicity, Zebrafish




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