Zebrafish transgenic line huORFZ is an effective living bioindicator for detecting environmental toxicants
- Lee, H.C., Lu, P.N., Huang, H.L., Chu, C., Li, H.P., Tsai, H.J.
- PLoS One 9: e90160 (Journal)
- Registered Authors
- Tsai, Huai-Jen
- MeSH Terms
- Hydrogen-Ion Concentration*
- 24594581 Full text @ PLoS One
Reliable animal models are invaluable for monitoring the extent of pollution in the aquatic environment. In this study, we demonstrated the potential of huORFZ, a novel transgenic zebrafish line that harbors a human upstream open reading frame of the chop gene fused with GFP reporter, as an animal model for monitoring environmental pollutants and stress-related cellular processes. When huORFZ embryos were kept under normal condition, no leaked GFP signal could be detected. When treated with hazardous chemicals, including heavy metals and endocrine-disrupting chemicals near their sublethal concentrations (LC50), huORFZ embryos exhibited different tissue-specific GFP expression patterns. For further analysis, copper (Cu2+), cadmium (Cd2+) and Chlorpyrifos were applied. Cu2+ triggered GFP responses in skin and muscle, whereas Cd2+ treatment triggered GFP responses in skin, olfactory epithelium and pronephric ducts. Moreover, fluorescence intensity, as exhibited by huORFZ embryos, was dose-dependent. After surviving treated embryos were returned to normal condition, survival rates, as well as TUNEL signals, returned to pretreatment levels with no significant morphological defects observed. Such results indicated the reversibility of treatment conditions used in this study, as long as embryos survived such conditions. Notably, GFP signals decreased along with recovery, suggesting that GFP signaling of huORFZ embryos likely reflected the overall physiological condition of the individual. To examine the performance of the huORFZ line under real-world conditions, we placed huORFZ embryos in different river water samples. We found that the huORFZ embryos correctly detected the presence of various kinds of pollutants. Based on these findings, we concluded that such uORFchop-based system can be integrated into a first-line water alarm system monitoring the discharge of hazardous pollutants.