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Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Cholin- and carboxylesterase activities in developing zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio) and their potential use for insecticide hazard assessment.


PMID 16112210

Abstract

Insecticides are a potential hazard for non-target organisms like fish particularly at run off events. The study of effects to embryos of the zebra fish Danio rerio is already an accepted tool in waste water monitoring, but effects of various groups of substances (like most pesticides) to the zebrafish embryo remain to be studied. Enzymes are often taken as biomarkers of exposure and effect. Therefore cholinesterase isozymes and carboxylesterase were examined for their suitability as biomarkers of insecticide exposure. The activities of cholinesterase and of carboxylesterase were monitored in the first 48 h post-fertilization (hpf) of zebrafish development. Significant specific activities in the range of 0.5-25 U could be measured from the sixth somite stage (12 h) up to the Long Pec stage (48 h) for different cholinesterases using acetyl-, acetyl-beta-methyl-, butyryl- and propionylthiocholin as substrates. The specific activity of carboxylesterase ranged from 4 to 16 Umg(-1) protein in the respective developmental stages. Substrate specificity was analysed using specific inhibitors (eserine sulphate, DPDA, BW284c51). The results showed that the observed cholinesterase activities in the whole embryo may be attributed mainly to acetylcholinesterase with a partial capability to use propionylthiocholine as a second substrate. The potential use of cholin- and carboxylesterase as biomarkers was investigated using the organophosphate paraoxon-methyl. A 40% inhibition of enzyme activities was reached by 0.4 microM paraoxon-methyl indicating the possible use of these enzymes as biomarkers of exposure.

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