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Exploring uptake and biodistribution of polystyrene (nano)particles in zebrafish embryos at different developmental stages.In ecotoxicology, it is continuously questioned whether (nano)particle exposure results in particle uptake and subsequent biodistribution or if particles adsorb to the epithelial layer only. To contribute to answering this question, we investigated different uptake routes in zebrafish embryos and how they affect particle uptake into organs and within whole organisms. This is addressed by exposing three different life stages of the zebrafish embryo in order to cover the following exposure routes: via chorion and dermal exposure; dermal exposure; oral and dermal exposure. How different nanoparticle sizes affect uptake routes was assessed by using polystyrene particles of 25, 50, 250 and 700nm. In our experimental study, we showed that particle uptake in biota is restricted to oral exposure, whereas the dermal route resulted in adsorption to the epidermis and gills only. Ingestion followed by biodistribution was observed for the tested particles of 25 and 50nm. The particles spread through the body and eventually accumulated in specific organs and tissues such as the eyes. Particles larger than 50nm were predominantly adsorbed onto the intestinal tract and outer epidermis of zebrafish embryos. Embryos exposed to particles via both epidermis and intestine showed highest uptake and eventually accumulated particles in the eye, whereas uptake of particles via the chorion and epidermis resulted in marginal uptake. Organ uptake and internal distribution should be monitored more closely to provide more in depth information of the toxicity of particles.
In vitro to in vivo extrapolation of effective dosimetry in developmental toxicity testing: Application of a generic PBK modelling approach.Incorporation of kinetics to quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolations (QIVIVE) is a key step for the realization of a non-animal testing paradigm, in the sphere of regulatory toxicology. The use of Physiologically-Based Kinetic (PBK) modelling for determining systemic doses of chemicals at the target site is accepted to be an indispensable element for such purposes. Nonetheless, PBK models are usually designed for a single or a group of compounds and are considered demanding, with respect to experimental data needed for model parameterization. Alternatively, we evaluate here the use of a more generic approach, i.e. the so-called IndusChemFate model, which is based on incorporated QSAR model parametrization. The model was used to simulate the in vivo kinetics of three diverse classes of developmental toxicants: triazoles, glycol ethers' alkoxyacetic acid metabolites and phthalate primary metabolites. The model required specific input per each class of compounds. These compounds were previously tested in three alternative assays: the whole-embryo culture (WEC), the zebrafish embryo test (ZET), and the mouse embryonic stem cell test (EST). Thereafter, the PBK-simulated blood levels at toxic in vivo doses were compared to the respective in vitro effective concentrations. Comparisons pertaining to relative potency and potency ranking with integration of kinetics were similar to previously obtained comparisons. Additionally, all three in vitro systems produced quite comparable results, and hence, a combination of alternative tests is still preferable for predicting the endpoint of developmental toxicity in vivo. This approach is put forward as biologically more plausible since plasma concentrations, rather than external administered doses, constitute the most direct in vivo dose metric.
A transcriptomic approach for evaluating the relative potency and mechanism of action of azoles in the rat Whole Embryo Culture.We evaluated the effect of six azoles on embryonic development in the rat whole embryo culture (WEC). Using the total morphological scoring system (TMS), we calculated the ID10concentration (effective dose for 10% decrease in TMS). For evaluating gene specific responses, we combined previously and newly collected transcriptomics data of rat WEC exposed to a total of twelve azoles at their ID10for 4h. Results revealed shared expressions responses in genes involved in the retinoic acid (RA) and sterol biosynthesis pathways, which are respectively representatives of developmental toxicity and targeted fungicidal action of the azoles. Azoles with more pronounced effects on the regulation of RA-associated genes were generally characterized as more potent embryotoxicants. Overall, compounds with strong sterol biosynthesis related responses and low RA related responses were considered as more favourable candidates, as they specifically regulated genes related to a desired target response. Among the identified sterol associated genes, we detected that methylsterol monooxygenase 1 (Msmo1) was more sensitively induced compared to Cyp51, a classical biomarker of this pathway. Therefore, we suggest that Msmo1 could be a better biomarker for screening the fungicidal value of azoles. In summary, we conclude that the embryonic regulation of RA and sterol metabolic pathways could be indicators for ranking azoles as embryotoxicants and determining their drug efficacy.