Acrylamide (AA), an environmental pollutant, has been linked to neurotoxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. AA is widely used to synthesize polymers for industrial applications, is widely found in Western-style carbohydrate-rich foods and cigarette smoke, and can also be detected in human umbilical cord blood and breast milk. This is the first study that demonstrated the cardiac developmental toxicity of AA in zebrafish embryos. Post-fertilization exposure to AA caused a clearly deficient cardiovascular system with a shrunken heart and abortive morphogenesis and function. Disordered expression of the cardiac genes, myl7, vmhc, myh6, bmp4, tbx2b and notch1b, as well as reduced number of myocardial cells and endocardial cells, indicated the collapsed development of ventricle and atrium and failed differentiation of atrioventricular canal (AVC). Although cell apoptosis was not affected, the capacity of cardiomyocyte proliferation was significantly reduced by AA exposure after fertilization. Further investigation showed that treatment with AA specifically reduced the expressions of nkx2.5, myl7 and vmhc in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm (ALPM) during the early cardiogenesis. In addition, AA exposure disturbed the restricted expressions of bmp4, tbx2b and notch1b during atrioventricular (AV) valve development and cardiac chambers maturation. Our results showed that AA-induced cardiotoxicity was related to decreased cardiac progenitor genes expression, reduced myocardium growth, abnormal cardiac chambers morphogenesis and disordered AVC differentiation. Our study demonstrates that AA exposure during a time point analogous to the first trimester in humans has a detrimental effect on early heart development in zebrafish. A high ingestion rate of AA-containing products may be an underlying risk factor for cardiogenesis in fetuses.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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